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Japan is plunged into chaos upon the appearance of a giant monster.
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Shin Godzilla movie full length review - Big monster mayhem
The legendary Toho Studios of Japan released its first film about Godzilla in 1954. Since then, it has made 28 Godzilla films apart from several other Kaiju related monster epics.
28 Godzilla films. Without a doubt, they are able to revive the monster from the depths of the radioactive waste and make a statement whenever they please. They are the authority when it comes to devastating monstrosity on screen. Directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi embrace the uncanny elements of the older Godzilla films while introducing it in modern day Japan with contemporary issues in the foreground. The nuclear monster mostly wreaks havoc in the background as tense debates, discussions and bureaucratic processes add to the dramatic effect. 'Shin Godzilla' isn't a western production where millions are spent in detailing the look of the monster with little attention paid to a dramatic script that builds genuine tension. Remaining true to its roots, this movie's focus is the effect of its emergence on the citizens of Japan and the government's attempt to cope with the devastation.
A couple of mysterious incidents in Japanese waters results in theories and speculation that soon get confirmed when 'the creature' makes landfall. In a 'Cloverfield' like scene of absolute mayhem, the creature crawls through a city, destroying property in its path. Soon enough, the scientists discover that it is now able to stand on its hind legs and thus cover major distances. The government initiates mass evacuations and mobilizes its army and air force to take down Godzilla. The sea monster is now a fast evolving giant that grew 3 times its original size since its last spotting. This isn't a monster that has expressions and bodily movements that are aggressive. This monster is simply walking through a city being clueless, tearing it apart unintentionally. There is no emotion in this Godzilla which makes it all the more intimidating. The comical unblinking eyes might look like amateurish animatronics but the objective is clear. You are looking at a soulless creature that is unaware of its surroundings and is simply unstoppable. A capable team of government officials and scientists analyze data and take measures to prevent human casualties. The insanely high radiation levels indicate that Godzilla harbors a sort of nuclear fission within itself, resulting from the radioactive waste that created it in the first place. Much of the film's drama is generated in these task force rooms where they attempt to stop Godzilla from reaching Tokyo. The bureaucracy in government proceedings is mocked at while the predictably individualistic approach of the US is made blatantly obvious.
Japan's failure to stall Godzilla's progress towards Tokyo prompts US intervention and with its B-2 bombers, attacks the creature with brute force. For the first time, we see Godzilla shaken after an assault and it doesn't go well thereafter. Atomic rays are emitted from its mouth and fins that destroy everything around it with acute precision. This retaliation was a shocking revelation of its abilities and the depletion of its energy made it dormant for several days. This gave our main character, Rando Yaguchi, the Deputy Chief Cabinet secretary played by Hiroki Hasegawa, the essential time he needed to come up with a solution that would stall the monster from destroying Tokyo. Satomi Ishihara plays Kayoko Ann Patterson, an unconvincing special envoy who is supposed to be more American than Japanese. Their main objective now is to stop Godzilla by an alternate means that does not require the deployment of a nuclear warhead. With millions of lives at stake and just a matter of days till the creature becomes active again, a helpless Prime Minister and his competent task force will have to understand how Godzilla functions and through those findings, bring an end to the annihilation.
Shin Godzilla's visual effects nicely blend the old school technologies of animatronics and puppets with CGI and live action photography. While some audiences would find certain sequences incredulous, the directors achieve the desired result of showing an attack or execution of a logistical idea. Depicting the devastation in a vastly populated and congested urban area has infrastructural impact and they use those very elements to a convincing degree in their response. The drama in the situation rooms at times rambles on but showcases the contemporary challenges of a bureaucratic system and the shadows of a government's failure post major catastrophes. On the other hand, depriving the creature of any intelligence, emotion or awareness of its being makes it even more intimidating. It stumbles through an entire city at a slow but destructive pace with no clear objective. Yet, when it is attacked viciously, it evolves a lethal defense system. This Godzilla isn't well defined visually. It looks like a work-in-progress. It looks so unnatural that it resembles a monster in a true sense. It's even bigger, uglier and more destructive than 2014's Godzilla.
This is Japan's emphatic response to Hollywood, claiming its dominance over the monsters genre and setting the stage for more destruction on the big screen.
- 8.778 on a scale of 1-10.