Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★½

A ten year wait. A shitty American remake in-between. Ren Osugi, Shinya Tsukamoto and about a billion other amazing actors in the cast. Hi, I'm Dave. I fucking love Godzilla. And yes. I had unfathomably high expectations for this. There was no way Shin Godzilla was going to live up to the delirious mania that followed me into the cinema. That said, for the first thirtyish minutes, I was outrageously excited. It appeared that this was going to be pure genius with a level of satire and intelligence not seen in the series since the original. The panicked, fast-paced opening act featuring a stressed out Prime Minister, brilliantly pointless meetings and powerful allusions to the 2011 earthquake (and the political chaos that followed it) had me on the edge of my seat and giggling with delight. I loved the different forms of Godzilla and his bizarre evolution throughout the film. Though it went a little too far in de-Godzillarizing his appearance, Godzilla was a frightening force. Everything was great. I was having a blast. I was loving seeing my hero Shinya Tsukamoto getting decent screen time. Then Godzilla (literally) goes into a coma and the film fumbles to pieces. It becomes like every Godzilla film of the Millennium era - long dull conversations about how to deal with Godzilla and pseudo science galore. The satire becomes obvious and bloated and also a little disturbing (it's super nationalistic, pro-military and, more distressingly, possible even pro-Abe - though I could be misreading it). There's painfully cringe-inducing performance from Satomi Ishihara who is supposed to be American and slips into heavy-accented broken English regularly. The film mostly redeems itself in its final act, and, despite my own personal thoughts on the film's politics, I liked that Godzilla is once again a vessel for a real world conversation. I'm very much of two minds about Shin Godzilla, but I look forward to revisiting it.

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