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Shin Godzilla (2016)

Shin Gojira (original title)
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Japan is plunged into chaos upon the appearance of a giant monster.

Directors:

Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi (co-director)

Writers:

Hideaki Anno, Sean Whitley (english version)
13 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hiroki Hasegawa ... Rando Yaguchi
Yutaka Takenouchi Yutaka Takenouchi ... Hideki Akasaka
Satomi Ishihara ... Kayoko Ann Patterson
Ren Osugi ... Prime Minister Seiji Okochi (as Ren Ôsugi)
Akira Emoto Akira Emoto ... Ryuta Azuma
Kengo Kôra Kengo Kôra ... Yusuke Shimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
Mikako Ichikawa Mikako Ichikawa ... Hiromi Ogashira, Deputy Director of Nature Conservation Bureau
Jun Kunimura ... Masao Zaizen, Integrated Chief of Staff
Pierre Taki ... Saigo, Combat Leader
Kyûsaku Shimada ... Katayama, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ken Mitsuishi Ken Mitsuishi ... Kozuka, Governor of Tokyo
Shingo Tsurumi Shingo Tsurumi ... Yajima, Joint Staff Deputy
Kimiko Yo ... Reiko Hanamori, Defense Minister
Takumi Saitoh ... Ikeda, Tank Captain (as Takumi Saitô)
Takashi Fujiki Takashi Fujiki ... Tokyo Lieutenant Governor
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Storyline

An unknown accident occurs in Tokyo Bay's Aqua Line, which causes an emergency cabinet to assemble. All of the sudden, a giant creature immediately appears, destroying town after town with its landing reaching the capital. This mysterious giant monster is named "Godzilla".

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nippon tai Gojira. (Reality versus fiction.) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Release Date:

29 July 2016 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

God Godzilla See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

JPY 624,610,700 (Japan), 31 July 2016, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$455,036, 16 October 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,908,028, 6 November 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (3.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are six film directors that appear in this film: Kazuo Hara, Isshin Inudô, Suzuki Matsuo, Akira Ogata, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, and the late Kihachi Okamoto as a photo double. See more »

Goofs

Godzilla's color changes slightly throughout his first attack. See more »

Quotes

[Godzilla's spine suddenly begins to glow an ominous purple]
Rando Yaguchi: What is that glow?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Toho logo is the modern version, then turns to the 1950s color logo to homage Gojira (1954)'s era. See more »

Connections

Follows Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Great War in Space
Composed by Akira Ifukube for "Battle in Outer Space" (1959)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not your typical blockbuster - 'Shin Godzilla' taps into the fear and frustration of the Japanese post-3/11 for sharp political allegory and chilling real-world horror
19 August 2016 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

'Shin Godzilla' isn't Toho's vainglorious attempt at re-capturing the success of recent Hollywood adaptations of its iconic Japanese monster. Quite the contrary, co-directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi know better than try to outdo their Western counterparts in terms of spectacle, and instead have made the astute decision to make a distinctly Japanese 'Godzilla' that will most certainly resonate with their home audience, even at the expense of alienating some non-Japanese viewers without the same cultural or historical context. In fact, we dare say that their film has the unique distinction of being both political allegory as well as real-world horror, and is surprisingly effective on either count.

No other recent event has been so seared in the Japanese consciousness as that of the 2011 Tohoko earthquake and tsunami as well as the consequent Fukushima nuclear disaster, not just because of the hundreds of thousands of people affected but also because it exposed how terribly unprepared the Japanese government was with handling a crisis of such proportions. The parallels here are unmistakable – from an indecisive Prime Minister (Ren Ôsugi) to the frustratingly bureaucratic attitude of his Cabinet ministers to the embarrassing revelation of his poor judgment (such as during a live press conference where Godzilla makes landfall right after he specifically tells the people that the creature will not) – and indeed meant no less than a searing indictment of just how inept the Naoto Kan's administration was during 3/11.

Yet it isn't hard to imagine how a movie based solely on such criticism would quickly turn monotonous, not least because the lead characters here are all political/ Government figures – among them, Hiroki Hasegawa's outspoken and gutsy Deputy Chief of Cabinet Secretary Rando Yaguchi, Yutaka Takenouchi's opportunistic Aide to the Prime Minister Hideki Akasaka, and Satomi Ishihara's Special Envoy for the United States Kayoko Ann Patterson – and each is defined only in terms of his or her role and ambition in relation to the ongoing calamity. None too subtle is the point, emphatically and unequivocally made, that while politicians wield the ingenuity and authority it takes to manage an unprecedented catastrophe, each is also simultaneously weighting the cost or opportunity of every decision or maneuver to his or her political futures.

Just as illuminating, especially to the Japanese, is the strengths or limits of its military might post-WWII, seeing as how it has never yet seen the need to invoke the use of its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) or call in the help of the US military under the US-Japan Security Treaty. Under the pretense of exterminating Godzilla, Anno's screenplay imagines what it would take not just for the SDF to be activated but also how US intervention would likely come with some strings attached. How and if at all it is meant to play into the current Shinzo Abe's push for an expansion of the SDF role is quite perceptively left up to the audience's interpretation, but there is no doubting that the introduction of the United Nations late into the film is meant to demonstrate how powerless nations not on its Security Council may be to resolutions passed by its five members on non-member countries.

Yes, if it isn't yet clear, there is no intent here to highlight the human dimension of such an event; rather, it is domestic politics as well as the global world order that forms the basis of this re- incarnation of Godzilla. As a reboot, 'Shin Godzilla' starts on a clean slate, beginning with an underwater disturbance that briefly makes its way onto shore before going back out to sea, then returning as a much more highly evolved organism that grows and grows ever more fearsome. Fans though will not be disappointed – as with past iterations of Godzilla, this latest version not only has the ability to radiate highly destructive atomic rays from its dorsal fins, it also can set streets of buildings ablaze by spewing fire out of its mouth. It does take time to get used to the new 'ShinGoji' design, but rest assured that this beast is every bit as terrifying as it should be.

In fact, that palpable sense of fear is twofold – first, in tying the origins of Godzilla to Japan's ignominious nuclear history; and second, in showing with utmost realism the wanton destruction of notable landmarks in Tokyo by the monster. The former has to do as much with the United States' alleged dumping of radioactive waste in Tokyo Bay in the 1950s and 1960s as accusations of Japan's own disposal of toxic ash from the burning of Fukushima's nuclear waste into the same waters. The latter, on the other hand, sees entire districts in Tokyo ripped or flattened by Godzilla's rampage, impressively staged by co-director cum VFX supervisor Anno (also known for last summer's 'Attack of Titan') using a mix of old- fashioned puppetry and modern CGI. In particular, the combined US- Japan military assault on Godzilla along the banks of the Kano River and the finale in downtown Shinjuku is stunning, especially in imagining the magnitude of destruction that Godzilla could inflict on modern-day Japan.

Yet if the promotional materials have given the impression that 'Shin Godzilla' is an action-packed blockbuster like its most recent Hollywood predecessors, you'll do best to temper those expectations. Sure, there are beautiful sequences of Godzilla wreaking havoc, but because the focus is on displaying different types of political personalities and their responses towards such a crisis of proportions, there is a lot of talking (as well as 'talking heads') throughout the film and especially in the beginning. By tapping into the paranoia, fear and frustration of their fellow Japanese following their own recent real-life crises, Anno and Higuchi have made a contemporary 'Godzilla' that is sure to roar loud with their home crowd – and by that count, this is as its Japanese title suggests, a new and true incarnation as relevant as it is frightening.


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