Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★★

The noodles are soggy. I knew this job wouldn't be easy.

Yep, this is the best Godzilla film. Maybe I'll change my mind when I see more of his newer films, but this rewatch completely reaffirmed my strong admiration for this movie. I had the pleasure to see this in a theater during its limited run in the States in October of 2016. I remember it not being exactly what I wanted out of it (You go to a Godzilla movie mainly for the fun destruction, right?) but as it began to settle within me on the car ride back post-screening, it dawned on me how much I was into it. I believed it to be the case back then, and now I can confirm the reason why I think Shin Godzilla is the best film the Big G has ever been in. It is a stellar balance of both witnessing an unstoppable force wreak havoc while also getting a peek below the monster, seeing what people do in the face of something so terrifying. Making a Godzilla film that's really a political drama feels like something that would be an utter failure in America, and what's interesting about the human characters in this movie is that as individuals, a lot of them don't have much going on. Despite that, the politicians, scientists, and civilians of Japan feel like a collective in this movie. This is a film about divisions in age, politics, morality, and power. What is the thing to do in the wake of a major ecological (and really, human-caused) threat? Are you the diplomat, do you take things slow, or are you the person who tries to go for the most immediate action? What is your role in protecting your people? Are you the person in the office getting the reports or are you on the street, in real danger as the people you look after? Among its philosophical intrigues with societal power structures, there has never been a more visually terrifying version of the iconic kaiju than we see here. His first land appearance is adorable with the googly eyes until you see him trample a building with a crying family inside it. When the massive, gangly-toothed Godzilla with a tail higher than the heavens makes his appearance, the iconic roar spilling out from his mouth, chills go down your spine. The utilization of the film's sound design, the mixture of practical effects and CGI, the stunning musical score, and its deft mixture of visual spectacle and genuinely upsetting material makes this an unforgettable creature feature. Has an all-timer final shot to seal the deal. Just what you'd expect from the master, Mr. Anno.


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