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Movie Review: Shin Godzilla (2016) - Cephus' Corner

Movie Review: Shin Godzilla (2016)

December 11th, 2016

Shin Godzilla posterYeah, I’m a big Godzilla fan, in fact, I’m a fan of most kaiju films.  Back in 2004, Toho made the “last” Godzilla movie, Final Wars, and exited the game, leaving it to American moviemakers to continue to giant monster legacy.  But 12 years later, they put Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi in charge of a reboot movie, Shin Godzilla in Japan and Godzilla Resurgence in America.  But the question is, is Shin Godzilla a worthy successor to the classic monster movies?

Guess you’re going to have to click to find out my views.After various disasters happen around Japan, a goofy looking monster crawls up on land and smashes stuff.  The Japanese government doesn’t know what to do, they are willing to just ignore it and hope it goes away, but when it does, it returns in another form, much bigger and stronger than before.  The rest of the world, primarily the US and UN, are afraid it might evolve into something that can harm the rest of the world and push to drop a nuke on Tokyo.  Japan begs for time to implement another plan that just might save their capital.

To be honest, I didn’t much care for it.  Oh, it was great seeing Godzilla back in action, although this just wasn’t Godzilla.  It lacked all of the common threads and plot points that made Godzilla what he was.  The incredible-evolving giant monster thing was… weird.  The environmental message that has been part of the best films all the way back to 1954 was barely present.  I mean it was mentioned once, but only in passing and nobody ever learned a lesson about the dangers of nuclear energy.  I’ve seen some people suggest that Godzilla came ashore in response to Fukushima, but that’s never directly addressed in the movie at all.

And here’s something else.  I hate Evangelion.  I always have and always will.  It brought about a decade of wispy-thin giant robots.  There is way too much Evangelion in this movie for my tastes.

Frankly, while there are a lot of characters in this film, none of them ever really grows or learns anything.  There are a lot of talking heads but I never sympathize with any of them.  I never care about any of them.  Even the copious number of Godzilla victims don’t mean anything because there is never any fallout from their deaths.  Oh well, people are going to die, let’s go fight the monster!  But they don’t so much fight the monster as they do plot and plan against the monster and then kick it when it’s sleeping.  There’s never an actual fight where the humans might have a fighting chance.  They’re doomed unless they sneak in a victory through trickery.

Ultimately, this isn’t a Godzilla movie, it’s a Japanese political movie in which Godzilla just so happens to appear.  It’s a semi-realistic-ish view of what might happen to a country, politically and economically, if some giant monster comes tromping through the middle of it.  But that’s not particularly interesting to me. I don’t care about the political machinations of the US and UN against a monster in a far off land.  We’ve been waiting for more than 10 years for Toho to make another Godzilla movie and this is what we get?  No thanks.

I’m just not a fan of what they’ve done to Godzilla in the past decade or so. Godzilla does best when he’s battling other monsters.  Other than the original 1954 film, every single time he’s been out on his own, the movie has sucked. This was no exception.  I mean, I guess it’s interesting to get Anno’s vision of Godzilla, but please, let this be a one-time thing, no matter how much money it made in Japan.  Get back to what makes Godzilla fun.  Monster fights, over-the-top sci-fantasy and characters that actually matter and grow.  None of that was present this time around.  We really need it back.

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Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.