Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★★

What's happening here is Godzilla going back to it's roots, back to that very first film and away from the monster smash-up fests that, yes, I'm happy to admit it, I love.

So the film opens with a mysterious event in Tokyo Bay which turns out to be the emergence of a Gigantic Unidentified Life Form (or GULF), although they don't change that acronym once the understand what it is, instead it is named Gojira/Godzilla in accordance with the scientist who predicted it's appearance decades before.

If, like me, you sit through those Kaiju movies of the 60s and 70s twiddling your thumbs waiting for the monsters to all gather in one place and have a good fight then you might think that this version in which Godzilla takes a back seat for the greater part of the movie, is not for you.

But you'd be wrong. What this film does is to show the events wholly from the point of view of humans, mostly the government officials on whose shoulders the responsibility falls for trying to combat the monster. Or, when we are out on the street, we get the viewpoint from ground level, witnessing the devastation first hand.

And what devastation it is. Both Godzilla himself and the destruction he causes are brilliantly rendered, putting Hollywood to shame. You get a real sense of the mass of both the creature and all those buildings falling all around him.

So no, it's far from an out and out slug-fest and there's a lot of talk (and of course subtitles) that come at you thick and fast, but in so far as it's possible the film portrays something that feels like a realistic response to an event of this magnitude. And of course they do anything they can to prevent the nuclear option that the rest of the world is pushing for.

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