Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★★

Probably the closest iteration of Godzilla to capturing the original’s essence; the searing memory, now a distant echo, of Hiroshima & Nagasaki looms throughout as a team of bearucrats try to stop the U.S. from completely destroying their country in the process of nuking Godzilla. Theres a level of melancholy & catharsis in the people of Japan, including some other people from around the world, coming together to stop their nation from becoming another site of destruction at the hands of atomic weaponary that is not unlike the 1954 film. People doing the right thing, no matter the odds for something greater than them. Hope distilled to its purest form. Great stuff. It doesn’t reach the palpable sense of a still freshly grieving country’s pain and psychic release as in the original film, but it’s pretty close. 

Godzilla looks & feels totally monstrous here; shedding radiative sludge, evolving & adapting until he becomes the huge thicc lizard who we love. And in this case, actually fear. The scene of him leveling Tokyo with his purple atomic beam—that is not only just atomic breath here, but atomic beam blasts coming out of his spikes (!!)— is gnarly. Spectacle that awes and horrifies in equal measure. I also love what they did to his biology, it gave the movie a realistic texture to complement the procedure narrative.

Overall, it’s pretty great, but I really wish the prime instant version I saw had the Japanese audio with English subtitles. It didn’t ruin my experience or anything, but man, the dubbing is awful tbh.

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