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Shin Godzilla

Steven - AV September 22, 2017

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Shin Godzilla is a satire of Japanese bureaucracy and a vaguely nationalistic underdog story about politicians uniting in the face of disaster, which all sounds like a terrible idea. It sounds very people-centric, and people are never the point of Godzilla. People exist only to string together the real meat of the thing, the guys in monster suits stomping on miniatures, so that the final product can pass for a halfway coherent story instead of just some chaotic scenes of rampaging monsters strung end to end. But people are also what make Shin Godzilla so fascinating. Though the film has its share of traditional Godzilla destruction, it zeroes in on the government response, which is unprepared and largely inept and also fascinating with touches of subtle comedy. Through quick cuts, dynamic camera angles, breathless dialogue, and tons of characters, the film gives the politicians their own engrossing brand of chaos. And as a commentary on the Japanese response to the 2011 earthquake/tsunami, Shin Godzilla is aspirational in a way few movies in the franchise have been since the original. It loses some steam toward the end and it’s certainly not what people expect from a monster movie, but it can easily count itself as one of the best. Overall Rating: A

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