Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★½

It's easy to feel sympathy for an animal, even though it is a monster doing monstrous acts. I can remember crying when Godzilla lost the battle in the American 2014 remake, and I have always rooted on the giant mutated lizard in every version I've seen. Because, at least the animal has the excuse of being just that; an animal... and I really enjoy watching giant manmade structures being torn down.

With this said, there's something different about Shin Godzilla as the creature rise from the ocean with the dim eyes of a blind deep-sea creature. It's immediate panic on the streets while the politicians take their time in closed and secure rooms. Secure for the time being, that is. And when Godzilla has developed into the creature we somewhat recognize, making its way through Tokyo in a mechanic manner with a clear goal and with just as dead eyes as before, all I am left thinking is that this is no animal, and it needs to be taken down.

Even though all of the Japanese Godzilla movies have had a clear political message, it may have never been as clear as in Shin Godzilla. And it has much to do with the fact that I never got the time to sympathize with anyone, but rather was presented with a rather simple blueprint about the inefficiency of old bureaucracy and how it needs to be replaced with new ideas from younger generations. This not without some really awesome giant monster action, of course, but there are more going on in conference rooms and provisional boardrooms than out on the city streets. But even though I had no real heroes (or monsters) to root for, I've seldom felt so engaged in a Godzilla movie. Because, seldom has a silly looking monster felt as terrifying as the Gojira in Shin Godzilla, and I felt almost just as overwhelmed about its indestructibility as the people that was meant to destroy it. I'm guessing that this is how I've been supposed to feel about every Godzilla movie, but Shin Godzilla is the first one that has succeeded with this task.

There are some huge issues with Shin Godzilla though. One being the editing. The illusion of that the people solving the monster problem exist in the same world as the monster itself fails, despite some small attempts keeping the illusion alive. And let's be honest about the second issue, because even though Gojira was effectively terrifying, the ugly CGI breaks that illusion as well more than once throughout this movie. And what's with that crazy long tail?

Either way Shin Godzilla is almost as good as it gets in the giant monsters crushing cities genre, and made me plug in my Sega Master System for some Rampage game time before going to bed.

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