Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★★

This movie is so good on so many levels - the satire, the homage, the freshness, the incredible Japanese sensibility. Shin Godzilla is a pretty fascinating commentary on the best and the worst parts of Japan's government bureaucracy and cultural attitudes of teamwork and responsibility, especially in a post-Fukushima world, and it's underlined by the Sorkin-speed dialogue between ministers in an endless parade of conference rooms.

Godzilla's design is both goofy and creepy, camp while the rest of the movie plays more straight-faced, but I'm a bad judge -- I'm absolutely terrified of dinosaurs and dinosaur-like things and found this didn't trip up my fear response at all (like, I will never be able to watch a Jurassic Park film in a theatre, but saw this in a theatre and was fine).

I sort of especially enjoyed the way the Japan-America tensions were played out in this, as well as the character of Kayoko Ann Patterson, the US President's Special Envoy. Though it's obvious Satomi Ishihara isn't a native speaker, her character was both good-hearted and funny and served as a sort of wink to the Americanized version of Gojira, Godzilla: King of the Monsters! (though the socio-political tensions and relationships were a central theme for Return of Godzilla as well).

Anyway this movie was a delight, and stands on its own quite well for those not deeply entrenched in kaiju knowledge (aka me).

Update: Realized I didn't mention the score, and the score is really good. It's retro, campy, and cool all at once.

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