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A satirical masterpiece of post-Earthquake Japan, revolving around the most awesome monster ever
kaiten0231 July 2016
First of all, if you are expecting the stereotypical monster movie where the point of it is just watching a monster destroy stuff and watch people running around, you WILL be disappointed. The majority of this film takes place in offices and meeting rooms.

Japan just went through a nation-wide Earthquake that took more than 15,000 lives, and triggered the second worst nuclear meltdown in history, both just five years ago. And this is a clear satire on the sociopolitical events since.

The film takes us through what goes on in the government when a unprecedented crisis hits the nation. It's a bunch of long meetings, finger-pointing, paperwork, and slow decision-making. It is the epitome of dysfunctional bureaucracy.

On top of all that, you start to see the US government and other UN nations start to poke their heads into the matter, treating the hometown of 15 million Japanese people like just another battleground for just another war.

There are no clear-cut heroes; Just a group of normal people who are experts in their own fields, doing their best to contribute and put this disaster to an end. They have to fight the politics more than the actual monster.

The reality of all of this is astonishing, and completely believable. It starts to feel like a crisis simulation film.

But of course, the center of it all is Godzilla:

Godzilla himself is truly awe-inspiring in this film. What they have done with the monster is totally new, different from any of the Godzillas in the past (be careful of spoilers out there on the web if you want to experience the amazement). It's personally my favorite by far. Throughout the film, Godzilla is dubbed as "The truly perfect organism", "The most evolved being on the planet", and "A god". So that is the level which you should expect. His crazy power is far beyond belief, so you can safely immerse yourself into this fictional monster.

The tag-line for "Godzilla Resurgence" in Japan reads: "Reality(Japan) V.S. Fiction(Godzilla)". So you are witnessing the fault line between reality and fiction.

When Godzilla is turning the city of Tokyo into rubble, the Japanese don't see fiction. They see the events of 2011/03/11. The director clearly took measures to parallel the tsunamis, the rubble, and the fear of radiation to the events in real life.

Put that together with the bureaucratic mess, the international politics, and terror/awesomeness of the devastating monster Godzilla; The result is this masterpiece. It's a movie clearly wouldn't have come out from the Hollywood scene.

It does have it's faults (like Satomi Ishihara's cartoonish character), but the impact and significance of the film far surpasses its faults.

A must-watch.
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What would happen if Godzilla appeared in 2016 Japan? This is the answer.
cteavin-130 July 2016
The film takes a somber, serious tone as to what would happen if Japan were attacked -- in this case, by a seemingly unstoppable foe.

At present in Japan, there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not Japan should amend it's constitution to allow for an offensive military and this Godzilla film plays to exactly how powerless Japan would be in making it's own decisions during an attack of any kind. The reality is that the Japanese Prime Minister would have to ask for permission from the United States President before making an offensive move against a foreign threat and this film plays to that hard reality.

This new Godzilla starts out as an homage to its former man in a monster suit so that when you first see Godzilla, you'll disbelieve what you're seeing, but this Godzilla evolves into something majestic and utterly awe inspiring in its power.

What's more, this film makes it clear people die. In the Japanese release there's a lot of word play about how the government officials up high (on the fifth floor) make decisions that get passed down to people on lower floors that eventually hurt the people. I'm not sure how much will be translated, but the film is deliberately showing the disconnect between the political and day to day realities.

Overall, the performances are good. There is one character who they, for whatever reason, decided to make speak English in odd an inappropriate times.

This isn't a film for US audiences. The aesthetics will turn off a lot of non-Japanese young people accustomed to CG reality. But if you're open to learning about another culture, this is an excellent film, one of the best kaiju-films you'll ever see.
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A massive film. Possibly the best depiction of the beast yet.
TuesdayThe17th30 July 2020
This movie explodes with awesomeness, realism, and entertainment. It is a spectacle from start to finish and makes for a great midnight movie. There are lots of conversations and dialogue in this movie but to me it wasn't too much. Some of the best movies are dialogue driven with little happening elsewhere. This movie gives us the best of both worlds with great characters and convos as well as epic action and monster sequences. There are many characters and honestly there are too many but it's okay because we don't have to really get to know these characters. They aren't there for us to be connected deeply or emotionally with. They're simply there to act as the "ants" frantically planning and plotting in their finely put together civilization while a "human" comes stomping through their world. Its a great comparison to see the humans going against Godzilla. More so than any newer Godzilla film and maybe any of them all together.
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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
moviexclusive19 August 2016
'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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Amazing Epitome of Japanese Ingenuity and Governmental Satire
gohyixiang1 September 2016
This is an excellent show that differs from the standard hack-and- slash and action-driven natures of other recent films (Independence Day 2 etc.). It is one of the most narrative-driven films that I've watched in the last 2 years.


  • The acting was great as a whole, comprising of much seriousness and focus, typical of the exigency of a nation-wide disaster, in the top politicians of the diet.

  • It is full of political irony, satire of the Japanese government's and bureaucracy's indecision and red-taping. There is great intelligence imbued into movie, and it shows that much research has been done prior to filming. It also shows the way in which foreign and indigenous affairs have been interwoven together in governmental decision-making. I greatly appreciate this as a whole, as the narration is full of meaning and subtlety.

  • The special effects of Godzilla were absolutely wonderful, portraying both scale and grandeur in Godzilla's size and style. I greatly enjoyed the four main scenes where Godzilla made its appearance, especially its climax at the latter two.

  • The pacing was fast-paced, and little time was wasted. A lot of content had been packaged into a duration of just 120 minutes. While watching, I thought that the film lasted for 4 hours, as there were so many occurrences!

  • The style and pace also remains true to the original Godzilla classics. So is the provenance of Godzilla.


  • Ishihara would not have fooled us into thinking that she is a Japanese-American English speaker!

  • Overall, it is very dialogue-heavy. This is both a strength and weakness. A strength as there is much character development, but also excessive to the point that it sometimes can be dreary and draggy. This is the greatest setback of the film, and could have been further streamlined. Minus 1 star for this.


  • As a whole, I rate it 9 out of 10, and will watch it again.

  • Most people who have an appreciation for subtlety and nuance, and also of vivid storytelling will like this film.

  • However, those who prefer a CGI roller-coaster like Independence Day 2 or 2012 may be turned off by the extremely heavy dialogue.
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Real Godzilla is finally back to reality
mirie-1035830 July 2016
(No Spoiler) Godzilla movies including Hollywood's 2014 Godzilla have been not able to surpass the original Godzilla. But finally, I think they did. Godzilla is back. Japanese title is Shin-Godzilla, Shin could mean true, new, God, shaking, and so on, and everything is right. This is not like heroic Godzilla we used to know, it is the new creature. But his terror, message, hopeless feeling, resemble the original Godzilla. Finally, Japan created the real Godzilla. CGIs are really great in this movie, not like ones you saw in previous movies. I'm serious. The destruction scene is amazing. You'll be stunned and get excited. But you can deeply feel the respect for the original Godzilla movie. They really did such a great job. This movie will blow your mind away. Finally, Godzilla is back. He's back!
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A Unique Take on Godzilla
estaugas3 March 2020
If you are expecting a stereotypical monster movie you will be disappointed. This film is definitely much more of a political thriller than a monster flick.

The movie is filled with plain and mostly forgettable characters, however, collectively they make the real protagonist of the film: Japan. The film critiques and parodies a dysfunctional bureaucracy, allowing for some not so subtle irony and other comedic moments using techniques such as extreme close-ups, quick changes in POV's, rapid-fire dialogue to reinforce these while still allowing for suspense when needed. Its overly fast pace is a bit jarring at times, making it hard to concentrate with its many fast and transitionless cuts.

Shin Godzilla feels very much like a documentary, with convincing this-is-really-happening atmosphere. The filmmakers really make you feel like a participant and witness to the events happening throughout the film engrossing you into the universe and adding a huge sense of realism which adds to the political side of the film and the impact of the destruction.

Godzilla himself is also amazing, the combination of puppeteering, animatronics and digital effects create such a unique portrayal of the monster evoking terror and intrigue. Though, the cgi isn't always perfect, but this can be overlooked.

The ending is also a mixed bag, it has a great message of collaboration and ends with an interesting introspection on who the bigger monster is: humanity or Godzilla. However it did feel too cheap and easy which kinda diminished the realistic tone set by the film.

The movie is definitely not perfect but its multi layered symbolism and message are so interesting I couldn't help but be invested throughout the whole thing.
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a great reimagining that captures the spirit of the original Gojira
y-0231126 February 2020
Shin Godzilla is an amazing reimagining of the original Gojira, unlike alot of reimaginings this one captures the spirit of the original and is actually really good
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A Masterpiece of Film making
grantLeonDaccarett3 June 2019
Anno Hideaki is a great artist and did an excellent job with this movie. The movie is made for a Japanese audience, because of this I feel people who are not will not understand why it's so great. Understanding Japanese culture, government, forms of speech, politics, and humor are key to understanding this film.

You can still enjoy the visuals, soundtrack, and the great cinematography all by itself however there are reasons some think it's boring. Because most people won't know why I would laugh when the government officials pass cards to one another or asking "who are you addressing?" If you're not Japanese these subtle things mean nothing to you.

That being said if you are very familiar with Japan and the culture/politics you'll love this film. If you're a fan of Evangelion you'll recognise many nods and even certain music used. However if you're none than you'll probably find it boring with some great action at some points.

This movie is a modern masterpiece, I recommend it.
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Giant Monster and Biting Political Satire
xamtaro2 October 2017
Japan is back in the game with their very own new Godzilla movie SHIN GOJIRA. Where Hollywood revived Godzilla as a tribute to his more heroic role in the late-showa era "versus" movies and the Heisei era, Toho Japan has gone back to the roots of the 1954 original Gojira and crafted a modern thriller about the horrors of mankind's misdeeds, the inaction of a government embroiled in bureaucracy and the impotence of a military in the face of this fiercer, meaner, force of nature Godzilla. .

SHIN GODZILLA is likely the first Godzilla movie to focus squarely on the political scene within the government when a giant monster attacks. Past movies have always involved Scientists, soldiers, or civilians focusing on the chaos on the ground. This movies looks into the chaos at the top as we follow young civil servant Yaguchi, deputy chief cabinet secretary (the first in a long list of designations to come).

A regular day in the government is interrupted by the collapse of the Tokyo bay aqua line tunnel and mysterious attacks off the coast of Japan. While the aged officials hold fruitless meeting after meeting in an obvious parody of real life bureaucratic process, Yaguchi theorists that the disasters are caused by a living creature.

No sooner is his theory shot down than an enormous tail rises out of the water. As the government scrambles but always falling a step behind the escalating disaster, Yaguchi forms a task force of unorthodox civilian experts to figure out how to stop this creature.

As the government's tried and tested efforts become increasingly futile, USA sends a special envoy Kayako Ann Patterson with the promise of military aid and insider knowledge to this mysterious creature dubbed "Godzilla".

The creature is growing, mutating, and taking on increasingly dangerous characteristics. Yaguchi's team is forced to think outside the box for a new way to halt its rampage before the UN deploys nuclear weapons on Japanese soil.

Contrary to the trailers, this is not the dark depressing disaster movie that was promised. Instead we are treated to one of the smartest and most biting social and political satires in modern cinema. Right in the crosshairs is the inefficient bureaucratic processes of the government and their obsession with trivial minutia which results in a complete mishandling of the crisis posed by the constantly evolving Godzilla.

The satire comes in the fact that the film does not overly dramatize anything; what you see is as close to reality as one can get in an old fashion parliamentary government like Japan's. Each ministry out for itself, passing the buck wherever possible, defending only their own interests. Standard procedures take precedence over unconventional methods.

Scenes of the prime minister making an announcement of Godzilla not being able to come ashore, intercut with the revelation that not only has the creature made landfall but has started trashing the town, hearkened back to the perceived mishandling of past real life disasters in Japan.

Yet the message underlying this movie is not a strict criticism of the government but an affirming call to action aimed at a new generation of leaders to unite a nation. Where the traditional methods fail, innovation and initiative will be the true weapons of the future. Yaguchi and his team represent this perfectly; outcasts from their respective fields because of their unconventional ideas.

Their tenacity in the face of hopeless defeat soon inspires fellow citizens from all walks of life, engineers, mechanics, construction workers and other blue collar roles typically overlooked by a status obsessed people, to come together and stand against a God incarnate.

The titular monster is unlike any incarnation ever seen. It's keloid looking skin, seemingly torn in places, gives the impression of pure suffering. Yet his inhuman all staring eyes betray a being devoid of soul. It is as it was back in 1954; a soulless unstoppable force birthed from mankind's sins. The military is powerless, though not for a lack of trying.

Where previous Godzilla movies have shown the military in a less than flattering light (cowardly, incompetent, or unable to hit such a massive creature), SHIN GODZILLA shows a military force truly giving their all, only hampered by slow indecision from the top.

The special effects used to bring this colossus to life is arguably good. No where near Hollywood blockbusters but amazing once you consider the comparatively tiny budget Toho had to work with. The naturalistic direction an camera-work courtesy of Evangelion creator Hideki Anno and his crew give the movie an almost "documentary" type feel.

It is devoid of filters, using very natural looking lighting wherever possible, which enhances the realism of the events taking place. Though the cuts can be a bit distracting at times, alternating between rapid fire jump cuts to scenes that look as if Anno left his camera running and forgot about it. Equally distracting is some of CGI compositing on Godzilla and some of his movements which end up more jerky than a puppet's. These are just minor faults though and only an issue to the more OCD of viewers.

Perhaps the only thing it does lack is the element of human drama. It is unafraid to show the horrible consequences of a monster's rampage through a macro view of a country's key decision makers but in doing so it does not leave opportunity to get the audience invested in any particular character.

More than just a monster movie, SHIN GODZILLA is a smart political thriller that satirizes an inflexible system. Those expecting a brainless action blockbuster will no doubt be disappointed. But as long as one is willing to turn in the brain and appreciate this movie for the deeper more complex themes it tries to tackle, you will find a refreshingly novel giant monster movie which the industry definitely needs.
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Nice and entertaining remake in which the massive and giant monster emerges from the depths to destroy Tokyo
ma-cortes25 June 2019
New version based on Japanese classic monster with excessive and modern computer generator FX . An unknown accident occurs in Tokyo Bay's Aqua Line, which causes an emergency cabinet to assemble , but only to say that the creature is so huge it's weight would crush it if it came on land . Nuclear waste and carlessness of man mutate a gilled creature in the Tokyo Bay. As an underwater prehistoric reptile emerges from the depths after he has been awakened from slumber by atomic energy and destroying buildings and people . With social media capturing the footage and with newly acquired appetite for atomic testing , the emergency cabinet meets to find out what the creature is and if it will be a real threat , then Godzilla's destructive power outbursts . They are proven wrong as the creature comes on land horrifying the people of Tokyo and knocking over buildings . Meanwhile , the monster appearance precipites an international incident .The monster scaring towners , terrorizing Tokyo and its streets , breaking buildings and everything to get in its ways. Later it comes back in its next form and is now taller , impressive and indestructable . The cabinet gives it the name "Godzilla". Along the way Godzilla clumsily destroys Tokyo office buildings, skyline , skyscraper and knock commuter trains of their elevated tracks . A god incarnate. A city doomed. Nippon tai Gojira. Reality versus fiction.

This is a roller-coaster ride plenty of destruction , wreak havoc , action-packed , thrills , chills and breathtaking scenes . Fun moments and frightening entertainment when happens appearance Godzilla carrying out an extreme mayhem , confusion and destruction . As Japan is plunged into chaos upon the appearance of a giant monster, then the cabinet sends a defence force to eliminate the monster but it evolves and starts inadvertently overheating with radiation and this causes the monster to run back to the bay, leaving a risk of returning to the cabinet . Based on the original Godzilla , any other bigger-than-life tale that span almost 60 years would have to answer some serious question about plot repetition . Fantastic design creature , being well and brilliantly made by means of state-of-art digital efects .The motion picture was competently directed by Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi . Finale leaves door open for an inevitable follow-up but still no realized.

Other movies about the Japanese monster, always produced by Toho productions and with rubber suits, miniature sets, are the following ones : the classic ¨Gojira¨ (1955) or ¨Godzilla King of the monsters¨ by Inoshora Honda ,commercially hit in the US , being one of the first post-WWII Japanese film to break American boxoffice including ridiculously primitive FX even in its own day ; ¨Godzilla king of the monsters¨(1956); ¨Godzilla raid again¨(1959); ¨Godzilla vs the sea monster¨(1966) Jun Fukuda; ¨Godzilla on mosnter island¨ (1972) , ¨Godzilla vs Smog monster(¨72) , ¨Godzilla vs Biollante¨ , ¨Godzilla vs King Ghidora¨, ¨Godzilla Vs Monster Zero¨ , ¨ Godzilla vs Megalon¨(1976); ¨Godzilla¨ (1985) , ¨Godzilla vs Megagodzilla¨(1993); ¨Godzilla revenge¨, ¨Godzilla 2000¨....
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No escaping a god incarnate
kevinxirau4 August 2017
After waiting for a whole year, I finally got my hands on the award-winning Japanese film "Shin Godzilla", directed by Hideaki Anno (Evangelion) and Shinji Higuchi (live action Attack On Titan). With the praise this film got, did it live up to the hype for me? Yes and to an extent no.

The film is a modern-day remake, showing how would the Japanese government (and to an extent other governments) react if Godzilla showed up for the first time today. This film is one of the more politically-charged entries in the franchise and is more of a thriller than a straight-up monster movie. There are lots of characters, a majority of which don't have much personality, but the main ones like protagonist Rando I found myself latching on to. Some the best scenes are when the characters stop acting like politicians and have casual and occasionally humorous dialogue. At least they took the whole situation very seriously with rarely an over-the-top moment much like the 2014 film, a breath of fresh air within the franchise. There's also this mystery element that plays a huge part in the story which I liked very much. Just as the 1954 film was a metaphor for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this one reflects the Fukushima meltdown as well as the tsunami and earthquake Japan suffered a few years back (goes to show that Godzilla will always find a way to stay relevant).

How does Big G himself hold up? Pretty good. His design is more-or-less an update of his original 1954 look, his skin looking like radiation scars. New to the series is that Godzilla EVOLVES throughout, starting out smaller and very odd-looking but growing larger, more powerful, and even smarter as the story progresses, making him unpredictable. I also enjoyed the exploration of his biology, that is how this creature could exist. My complaints fall under a few things, strictly on his main form: his arms are too small and he isn't very expressive, mostly just lumbering along in a straight line. When he does gets mad, however, that's when he really shines. The action scenes are entertaining enough and there's plenty of destruction featured with some surprising moments here and there. The special effects are largely CGI with elements of practical effects, both of which are good; Big G isn't a man in a suit this time (kinda disappointing) but rather motion capture, though there are a few well-done miniatures. Some sound effects are of the old era and the music is a mix of the original's by Akira Ifukube with some new ones by Shiro Sagisu, a lovely combo. There's even a track from Evangelion (Decisive Battle).

My favorite scene: The first time Godzilla uses his atomic breath. Set at night with a mournful choir singing in the background (w/ English lyrics), the suspense that builds to the monster unleashing his power and rage upon the world was epic, chilling even, and has tremendous payoff. It's a truly apocalyptic image.

There are a few issues to address. I admit the pacing isn't the best. The beginning particularly has some rapid editing and there are texts on the screen throughout (often naming a character and political position) that are quite distracting and take getting used to, though I suppose you're supposed to feel as rushed as these politicians. Also, there's a huge gap before the climax where there's no action going on that I honestly think the filmmakers should have cut down a little. I like the characters and what's happening to them, but I would have preferred for the film to cut to the chase a bit.

Overall, this movie has its faults for sure, but I'm still glad I saw it. It was an interesting twist to my favorite fictional character. More films in both Japan and America are on the way and I can't wait. Long live the King of the Monsters!
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tsabout23 March 2020
If you know Japanese politics and society, you can see how wonderful this movie is.
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A satirical masterpiece of monster-mash awesomeness! The King has returned!
dee.reid16 October 2016
2014 marked the Return Of The King (Of The Monsters) - Godzilla, at least for American audiences, in Gareth Edwards's "Godzilla." That film, while it had its flaws, represented the best vision of Godzilla thus far - at least for American audiences, after the disaster of "Godzilla" (1998).

2016, however, marks the Return Of The King (Of The Monsters), redux - "Shin Gojira," a.k.a., "Godzilla: Resurgence." Toho's "Shin Gojira"/"Godzilla: Resurgence" is the first Japanese-produced "Godzilla" film since "Godzilla: Final Wars" in 2004 - the latter film marking Godzilla's 50th anniversary. "Shin Gojira"/"Godzilla: Resurgence" is also the first Japanese-produced "Godzilla" film to be released theatrically in the United States since "Godzilla 2000" (1999) back in 2000 - and was, as a tearful aside, the last film I ever saw at the now-defunct Cineplex Odeon at my local shopping mall before it closed down later that year.

It was released in a limited one-week theatrical engagement here in the United States, and I had the opportunity to watch the film today with a very good friend who had never seen a Japanese "Godzilla" in the theater.

Needless to say, this was an event movie for me, well, both my friend and myself.

As readers familiar with my reviews here know, I am a life-long Godzilla fan; "Gojira" (1954) is my all-time favorite monster movie, and Godzilla is my all-time favorite movie monster. He has truly earned the nickname the "King of the Monsters."

But Japan is a very different country now, than it was during the 1950s when Godzilla first appeared. In March of 2011, Japan experienced a devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake that caused a massive tsunami and ravaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Thousands of people were killed in this tragedy, and Japan is still in the process of recovering from the disaster five years later. So, add a giant, fire-breathing radioactive lizard to the mix, and see what happens.

"Shin Gojira"/"Godzilla: Resurgence" is a gripping film, from the very first opening moments which are complete with music and sound effects that are a direct homage to the opening moments of the original 1954 "Gojira." That is perhaps the single greatest treat for eagle-eyed/-eared Godzilla fans who have eagerly awaited Godzilla's return for 12 years now. But while this movie is about Godzilla, it's also about Japan, how the country has changed in the 62 years since Godzilla's 1954 debut, and a new generation of film-goers are now being introduced to him. And, needless to say, this is a very different film from the "Godzilla" films that appeared before it.

"Shin Gojira"/"Godzilla: Resurgence" is the first "Godzilla" film ever to really dive into the behind-the-scenes hand-wringing, politics, and bureaucracy that was merely glossed over in all of the films produced from 1954 to 2014. Because we're seeing so many different human characters working for so many Japanese agencies, the prime minister and the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) all working together to face a threat that defies everything they know about science and nature, we have to become accustomed to a lot of folks just standing around talking.

But the various characters manage to keep us interested.

But, also, this behind-the-scenes drama also provides us with plenty of chances of anti-bureaucratic satire (which I know is something American audiences would love to see). I take this as a satirical commentary to the way Japan's government may have handled the response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster; much of this satire is actually quite funny, and fits in with the scenario, and does not in any way distract us from the seriousness of the film's proceedings. All this is seen through the eyes of a young government bureaucrat named Rando Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa). Hasegawa gives the film's most compelling acting performance, and provides an amazing center as he reacts to everything that's going on around him and happening to his country; he finds himself carrying the burden of an incredible responsibility, and he accepts that responsibility with grace, dignity, and courage. He's something like the target member for the audience.

And lastly what about Godzilla himself (since he's the reason we go to see this movie)? Let me just say, this Godzilla does not disappoint. I would hazard a guess that this is the most powerful Godzilla ever seen on the screen - in addition to being the most massive. Although we all know what this Godzilla looks like - his appearance has been the subject of massive controversy and debate in online fan circles, and is the first Godzilla to be fully CGI rather than a man in a costume - to see him in action in this movie is the real joy here.

Co-director/screenwriter Hideaki Anno and co-director Shinji Higuchi (of last year's live-action "Attack on Titan" adaptation) have fashioned the (near-) perfect reboot of the original Japanese "Godzilla" film franchise. There is no question, in my mind, that if Ishiro Honda (who directed "Gojira" in 1954 and several other subsequent "Godzilla" films for Toho), he would be proud for what Mr. Anno and Mr. Higuchi have achieved here.

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Not since the original has Godzilla struck such a cord with the Japanese people!
mamamosura14 August 2020
Hideaki Anno, the mastermind behind Evangelion has reinvented Godzilla for the modern age! Simply put Shin Godzilla is the best thing to happen to the franchise in decades! When release in Japan the film was a blockbuster hit, second only to Your Name.

The film received critical acclaim from Japanese audiences and critics, even winning BEST picture! It may seem odd for western audiences but Shin Godzilla brought Godzilla back to his intended purpose, a metaphor. As Hiroshima & Nagasaki, along with the Lucky Dragon are to the original, Fukashima Daiichi is to this film. Simply put this is Godzilla at his best, a manifestation of cultural fears an anxieties in the most monstrous form!
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ReplicaSoldier81323 November 2019
As a Hideaki Anno fan, I must say I love Shin Gojira (2016). Not only because it is an author signature film, but because it is the closest the audience will ever be from a live action version of Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Shin Gojira is a complex film. A commentary on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and later a remainder of the nuclear attacks on japanese ground from the United States of America during World War II, and also the political impositions regarding world stability. Nevertheless, the film feels slow-paced due to some budget sins:

1) A short OST, which remixes Shin Seiki Evangelion (1995) tracks like "Bataille Decisive" by Shiro Sagisu for such a long Epic like this.

2) Old Gainax and Toho sound effects as well as lack of these effects in major scenes.

3) Extremely long dialogues and on-screen subtitles. (I don't care about this issue because I seek for detail explanations).

Rating: Shin Gojira (2016).

  • Theatrical Version (6/10).

  • @GioAtero Remastered Edition (9/10).
Download at YouTube: GioAtero, Community.
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I don't understand the rating on this movie...
donnellymatt3 August 2018
It should be much higher than it is. The movie was so much fun, and so intelligent and witty. Truly an incredible satire of the political climate in Japan. The dialogue is rapid fire and incredibly funny throughout.

If you're looking for 90 minutes of monsters fighting then you'll be disappointed I guess, but if you're OK with a well written political satire that has some pretty bizarre but excellent monster effects then I say you should ignore the average rating on this thing and give it a go!
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A Godzilla Film That Manages To Be Both Satirical And Dark
coconutkungfu-3070413 February 2020
Shin Gojira is another Godzilla film, that much like the first Goji film has something to say. This is not to say that other Goji films haven't had messages too ( Such as the environmental message in "Hedorah") but Shin Gojira manages to capture that same dark spirit of the original.

The film satirizes bureaucracy and features several allegories for real disasters that have struck Japan in recent years, not unlike the original's references to the atom bomb.

Shin Gojira feels like the first political Goji film in decades, and it handles it all very well. You will laugh at the humor and you will be thoroughly invested in the battle against Godzilla, a Godzilla that is a formidable foe and sports one of the coolest Goji designs ever.

Godzilla feels like a genuine incarnation of evil in this one, a far cry from the heroic Gojis that some may be familiar with, Goji hasn't been this menacing since the 50's.

Overall this is a must for fans of the series and it is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in well-made disaster movies.

It gets 10 Purple Lasers out of 10 from me!
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One of the best movie I've ever seen
askingthesuicide23 September 2016
It's a very good movie but not for everyone. If you want to see only Godzilla destroying city may be you gonna hate it. 80% of movie focus on politicians, They'll talk,talk and talk to find the way to defeat Godzilla. Sound normal but it's actually amazing to watch it. For who got spoiled already I'm gonna say It's not effects your feeling while watching this movie because The best part of this movie are conversations!.

Music are amazing, CGI still lame in some part of the movie but overall is good!. And the big surprise of Evangalion's fans,Anno put many Easter eggs in this movie you guys can't miss it.
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Very nice
bahabatch1 January 2020
I've always been a fan of the original Japanese Godzilla movies, and this movie was a pretty good reboot (I think) for this franchise. For a movie that's budget was 15 million, I think they did a wonderful job with the CGI. Also, I think there's supposed to be political satire in this, but I'm not sure. Japanese viewers might pick up on it though. All in all, this was a pretty good movie.
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The best Godzilla film I have seen
gbpxl-834805 March 2019
Ive seen all the Showa era Godzillas and some of the later ones and this was by far the best. It was great to see Godzilla in the modern era with smartphones, HD resolution and an awareness on everyones part that everything about the film will be picked apart online.

The pacing is excellent, jumps right into the action. Acting is excellent as well, very believable characters though it was obvious that English wasnt the native tongue of one of the actresses.

Godzilla was truly horrifying for the first time. A lot of people seem to dislike his look but I thought it was cool.

If anything else, this film shows people what a Godzilla film should look like and it is easy to see why most idiot American film goers wouldnt like it ("too much dialogue, not enough things blowing up, Godzilla isnt sexy looking enough.") Translation: I dont care about plot, hate reading, and I dont realize that a mutated menace doesnt need to be aethestically pleasing.
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One Sentence Reviews
henrypaulmerklein10 June 2018
This franchise is back from the undead, but this time it's alive and well.
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Finally, a satisfying return to the real Godzilla
jasmine_lord21 May 2018
This film deserves a viewing if you truly appreciate the Godzilla franchise.
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Fantastic Homage to the Godzilla legacy
bobsutherby26 November 2019
I thought this film was brilliantly done. Audiences are tired of the sappy "must find my family" subplots that slow action films to a crawl. You don't get that in this movie. You get instead a brilliant send-up of Godzilla incarnations old and new. I thought the director did everything right. The pacing was taut and efficient. The special effects were excellent, especially the miniatures which were also an homage to old-school Godzilla. Well done!
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I Must Be Missing Something Here...
bkrauser-81-31106423 October 2016
I'm clearly missing something here. I watched this feckless waste of time in a crowded theater amid rabid fans and uproarious applause. I stayed composed as the stiff clumsiness of the titular monster mimicked the same directionless ambling of the script and editing. I twiddled my thumbs as audience member after audience member laid down a periodic blaze of pompous commentary. After two-hours, I slinked away, drove home, had a beer, took a shower, sat by the computer and waited for a review to pour out.

That was nearly a week ago and believe me I'm still trying to wrap my head around the supposed "return" of the classic Godzilla. Perhaps the appeal of 31st film in the Japanese franchise (and the third reboot) is strictly limited to just Japanese audiences. Those on the island nation would no doubt feel a slight chill when comparing the images of destruction with memories of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Yet any heart strings that are unceremoniously plucked for the sake of reviving a franchise, should be muted by the film's airlessness and off-putting attempt at natural horror.

The plot of Shin Godzilla might as well be copied and pasted like a macabre, disaster film mad-lib. The monster emerges from Tokyo Bay and causes incalculable destruction, meanwhile a committee of Japanese politicians, experts and military brass try to put a stop to it. Wait, did I say committee? I meant a huge helping of committees and teams, and working groups, ministries, extra- governmental bodies, national and international task-forces; pretty much any kind of personnel organizational group who dedicates part of its man-hours justifying itself. Apart from the odd snippets of monster-on-city mayhem, Shin Godzilla is basically In the Loop (2009) without the jokes or the potty-mouth.

As I am familiar with the Toho films (though not as familiar as I should be), I was somewhat prepared for some kaiju inspired silliness. To that end, Shin Godzilla does deliver adorably lo-fi set-pieces of models being toppled, crushed and otherwise destroyed. The climax of the film; a hasty, time-clocked gamble that involves cranes and trains, is enough to give casual fans a moment of glee. Then of course there's the design of Godzilla himself which properly pays homage to the original 1954 version while cleverly adding on a few adaptations.

If this film were comprised of thirty more minutes of Godzilla running around Tokyo under helicopter fire, I'd like to think we'd all get our money's worth. Unfortunately the film is stuck in the tall weeds trying to justify itself with realism in all its bureaucratic glory. Much of plot revolves around research taskforce leader Rando Yaguchi (Hasegawa) and his band of personally selected misfits and flunkies. Using a long dead professor's impenetrable research into (insert faux science here), Rando navigates through a Kafka-esque maze of red tape to get his ideas to the attention of, among other people Kayoko Patterson (Ishihara) Special Envoy to the U.S. President.

The fact that this movie colors it's conceptually silly plot with shades of Fukushima as well as the old bogey-men nuclear fallout from WWII, is just enough to put this film on notice. Yet if a worthy message alone were enough to warrant recommendation then The Purge: Election Year (2016) should be considered a contemporary classic. It's not, and neither is Shin Godzilla.
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