Godzilla Resurgence / G Project Memo / New Godzilla / God Godzilla / True Godzilla
Yoshihiro Sato, Masaya Shibusawa, Taichi Ueda, Kazutoshi Wadakura, Akihiro Yamauchi (executive), Minami Ichikawa (chief) for Toho, Cine Bazar, Khara Corporation
directed by Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi (co)
starring Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Satomi Ishihara, Ren Osugi, Akira Emoto, Kengo Kora, Mikako Ichikawa, Jun Kunimura, Pierre Taki, Kyusaku Shimada, Ken Mitsuishi, Shingo Tsurumi, Kimiko Yo, Takumi Saitoh, Takashi Fujiki, Yu Kamio, Suzuki Matsuo, Takahiro Miura, Bob Werley, Mark Chinnery, Atsuko Maeda, Ren Mori, Kazuo Hara, Shinya Tsukamoto, Akira Ogata, Akira Hamada, Alex Hormigo
written by Hideaki Anno, music by Shiro Sagisu
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Something's upsetting Tokyo Bay, and while everyone agrees it has to be
some kind of natural disaster, it takes gouvernment forever to figure out
countermeasures, and then it's revealed the "natural disaster"
is actually some kind of giant reptile. But fortunately, everybody agrees,
that reptile can't come on land - until it does laying parts of the city
to ruins, and despite its very unproportional body that seems to make it
unfit for moving about much, it lays waste to a fair part of the city.
Gouvernment again is slow to counteract, and when it does, it's slow and
insufficient, and one attack is even aborted for fear of harming civilian
lives. Meanwhile the monster evolves into what will eventually be the
Godzilla we all know - and that it eventually returns to the sea has
mainly to do with the fact that it runs on nuclear power and has to cool
off. When Godzilla returns though, it's bigger and badder than ever, and
it lays waste to large parts of the city - and when the prime minister
(Ren Osugi) is evacuating, Godzilla smashes his helicopter. The American's
barge in to the rescue, but basically their idea is to just nuke Tokyo -
which leaves Japan's last hope with Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa) and his team
of crack scientists and nerds to find a solution - which is ultimately to
cool Godzilla down so much that it renders him immobile - but that's much
easier said than done ...
There's no two ways about it, the
American Godzilla from 2014 was
a big disappointment, a pointless cross between outdated macho movie and
stale disaster flick with minimal monster action that delivered nothing
you haven't seen before in countless other blockbusters. In terms of
monster spectacle, Shin Godzilla really got it right, going back to
the roots (even if most of the action is computer generated this time
around) and showing the pure joy of destruction, the fun of monsters
leveling cities - and these scenes mostly look pretty awesome to be sure.
As for narrative framework, this film threads new ground, letting this
play out like more of a political thriller (or political procedure?) than
the individual drama you'd expect from a film like this, which makes this
one of the most serious films of the series (even if it's packed with
social commentary about bureaucracy bringing things to a standstill) -
which is not only a good thing: While the film's paced well enough to keep
things tense throughout, one somehow misses the more wacky, campy details
one learned to enjoy with earlier entries in the series. That said, this
is still a cool movie, maybe not among the best of the series, but
certainly not among the worst.