Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★

Here we are with the 3rd godzilla reboot from Japan and the 29th film in the franchise (Not counting the American versions). This movie franchise has been going on longer than James Bond, I think and yet I still keep watching them. But hey, they're still entertaining so what can you do. In this latest version, they change up his origin once again. Instead of having him be the result of atom bomb testing, he simply just shows up. Well, I mean he attacks a few ships first before he reaches land but they don't establish his birth or creation anyway. Then he spends the rest of the movie constantly evolving into a familiar but upgraded version of the godzilla we know and love. And I'm ok with that.

The plot? Well, it's the same as any first godzilla movie. Godzilla shows up, destroys the city, people are afraid and the military fights back causing little to no damage to him. Then either one scientist or a group of them figures out how to stop him. And then he comes back in the sequels as their protector from other big monsters. It's like a sitcom or procedural. It's the same formula over and over and we keep shelling out our money and coming back for more because it's safe and familiar and general audiences like safe and familiar. And so the cycle continues for another 60 years.

So let's talking about the most interesting character of the movie, godzilla. Like I mentioned before, I liked that they had him evolving throughout the movie. He starts out as this hilariously bad cgi monster walking on all fours and evolves into a practical effects monster that stands on his own two feet. He also develops more abilities as he's being attacked by the military as well. The new look was pretty neat. He almost looked like a lava monster and was very sharp and jagged looking. His teeth were definitely bigger and sharper and he has these crazy little eyes now. I didn't really care for his new abilities though.

The cinematography in this is definitely worth mentioning. All the shots and different angles of godzilla were pretty epic and really made him seem huge. There were also some clever camera tricks with the humans as well. However, there were also some weird choices made. For example, 2 of the main characters were walking and talking while the camera is following along with them but then the people stopped walking and the camera keeps going until they're out of frame while we listen to their boring conversation. It just felt awkward and like they were trying to be too artsy. So really, it was a hit or miss for my tastes.

The tone of the film felt much more serious compared to all the old films. However, it still had it's laugh out loud, ridiculous moments. I don't know if they just did this for the theater release but they went with subtitles instead of the usual, laughably bad, voice dubbing. Which was really too bad, because not only do the characters talk too fast with their subtitles at the very bottom of the screen, they would also post each new character's name and job title at the very top of the screen. So you basically had a choice on whether to follow the fast dialogue at the bottom or take a break to read the character's name (which really isn't that important at all) and possibly miss something. Also, they had the Japanese subtitles at the bottom for whatever reason. So many words on the screen! Don't get me wrong, I don't usually mind subtitles, but they do not work in a godzilla movie.

The human characters aren't that interesting and aren't really worth mentioning either. I did appreciate all the jokes about America though. Frankly, I would have been much happier if they'd had more screen time with godzilla and less of the humans. I know that's what a lot of people complained about in the new American reboot, but I actually thought it worked there and the end battle was worth it. This one, the ending felt somewhat anticlimactic. Anyways, I'd say the film is pretty good but not great. If you're a godzilla fan, then you should check it out. As a casual movie goer, you'll probably get bored.

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