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Shin Godzilla (2016) - Movie Review

Shin Godzilla is the newest Godzilla film from Toho, the studio behind the Japanese Godzilla films dating back all the way to 1954. This one is a reboot of the franchise, yet again, for the contemporary Japan and the plot is basically what you'd expect; Godzilla arrives and wreaks havoc, all the while the Government tries to defeat it. Since the original Godzilla was inspired by the effects and scars from the WWII Atomic Bombings on Japan by USA, and how destructive and horrifying that power is, this one is similar and was inspired by the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster, all the while being disguised in a monster movie.

Godzilla in this movie instills a sense of dread and fear as this indestructible monster with the power to lay waste to everything, a biological TERROR, and I really liked that about this movie. The way its proper form looked, particularly the head, was unsettling and that was the movie's intention, so props for that. But not all of it was right as I didn't like the full design. The first time you see Godzilla in its entirety, I was legit like "DA FUCK IS THAT SHIT!", and not in a good way. It looked too goofy and weird in that form. The super tiny arms couple with humungous legs that remained throughout never did sit right with me completely, even if the movie's intention was to showcase deformity via radiation (atleast that is what I think). The design could have been a lot better, that's all I'm saying.

Now, the movie is shown from the Japenese Government's perspective; different departments and personnel coming together to solve this crisis; showcasing satire in those scenes on the actual disaster that the movie is inspired by with all the bureaucracy that their Government is known for. And that was both a positive and a negative for me. I liked seeing a lot of it pan out and being on the POV of the top brass of the nation. You felt the collective i.e the nation of Japan as a character itself. BUT at the same time, the movie didn't have any compelling individual characters, none that I really cared about, to be honest. And that made several scenes boring since the movie has A LOT of scenes with meeting and discussions and trying to find a way to defeat Godzilla.

As for the CGI, well, it was great relative to the budget of the movie. The destruction of the buildings, in particular, was done quite well. Of course in the back of my head, I wished they had a larger budget since I've been spoiled by big budget Hollywood movies. The soundtrack had some excellent pieces in it, and the movie used them properly. All the destruction scenes of Godzilla were accompanied by great tracks that further elevated those, particularly the amazing scene in the middle of the movie. It was somber and beautiful and was without a doubt my favorite scene in the entire film. Really loved that the original score from 1954 was also used in some areas.

A thing that really bugged me was the 3.1 audio. Whether it was intentional or they just cheaped out on audio, it was disappointing. Those destruction scenes or Godzilla vs Military scene could have been better on a proper 5.1 soundstage, at the very least.

Now, in comparison to my favorite Godzilla film i.e 2014 Gareth Edward's one, it's kinda hard to directly do that since both are very different films. It's like comparing apples and oranges. But as just movies, 2014 had much more entertainment value for me and is easily the better one IMO.

All in all, if you know the context from where the film is coming from, chances are you'd definitely have a much better time then not knowing anything and just watching it simply because Godzilla is in it, especially if you're used to big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, at least that is how I feel. If you've been a fan of Toho movies for long, then you'll most definitely enjoy it. The movie has underlying themes of the current nuclear world alongside the already mentioned Japenese Government's bureaucracy and the disaster etc and some of it did make me ponder, and I liked that. It has been definitely an entertaining watch despite the flaws, and I'll be looking forward to other future Godzilla (GOJIRA!) films from Toho.



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