Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★★½

Absolutely brilliant. No wonder it won Best Picture over in Japan when it came out. Just like how the first Godzilla was influenced by the nuclear fears of the time, this movie directly parallels two recent disasters in Japanese history: the 2011 earthquake, the resulting tsunami, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster (one that the nation is still dealing with today). The images in this movie directly mirrors the tsunami (with phase one Godzilla writhing through the streets like a wave) and Fukushima (with final phase Godzilla spreading fire in all directions). It’s also everything I’ve ever wanted in a Godzilla movie: no BS love story or kids, just government people and scientists trying to do the best they can. The visuals are very unique, looking simultaneously old and new at the same time. I was also scared of Godzilla for the first time: that’s how menacing he looked in this movie. However, the movie does a great job overloading the screen with text, locations, and characters. I’ve heard people complaining about this, but they’re completely missing the point. It’s representing the state of mind of these characters. Furthermore, it satirizes the government bureaucracy of it all by showing how it inhibits immediate reaction in the face of impending disaster. I found it very relevant, especially today.