Monday, October 2, 2017

Shin Godzilla

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching. At first, I thought this was called Godzilla's Shins.

Shin Godzilla – 3 out of 5

Do we all realize that there have been over 30 Godzilla films?  Let that fact sink in for a moment because that’s just nuts!  That just goes to show how successful this monster has been as Toho, alongside two America films, have been churned out and they continue to have staying power and are loved by the fandom.  That’s staying power, my friends!  Well, Toho is back with a new reboot of the radioactive beast with Shin Godzilla and it is taking this familiar property is a bold new direction.

He's got a nuclear hair ball.

After an incident in the Tokyo Bay causes some flooding and destruction, the government begins a quick investigation.  One representative theorizes that a massive creature caused it but his theory is rejected; however, it turns out the man was correct and a mysterious monster emerges from the sea and starts a wave of destruction through the city.  Now the government must scramble and enlist the help of other countries as this creature, called Godzilla, starts to evolve and showcase dangerous and incredibly destructive abilities.  The government must act quickly to stop Godzilla before the entire country is eliminated and it takes on a new, even more deadly form.

He's trying to hide behind the trees that scamp.

If you like your Godzilla movies featuring a lot of scenes of elected officials discussing how to solve the problem of a giant rampaging monster and only show the creature during small, fleeting moments until the end of the movie, well then, my friend, this is the Godzilla movie for you.  Despite the movie getting really great reviews overseas (and just mixed over here in The States), I walked away from Shin Godzilla a little on the “meh” side.  It’s not a terrible film and it actually has some really wicked new ideas that kept it from looking just like every other Godzilla film but, in the end, the new stuff sorta made it feel too different and it missed that fun magic that makes these films enjoyable.

The best part about this one is it is missing Matthew Broderick.

It is undeniably cool to see how authorities and the governing bodies deal with the colossal beast destroying the city and it adds a new layer to the mythology that we always knew was there but never was the focus.  The problem for me was that the novelty of it started to wear thin.  There was a point where I just wanted to see that good old Godzilla charm and see him tear some stuff down.  This does occur but it happens so infrequently and, this is just me here, to a very unsatisfying degree.  I will concede that there were some really cool moments of monster destruction action and a really cool new type of attack from the superstar kaiju but the scenes just weren’t long enough and they were just too few.  The emphasis on governmental reaction to the terror was definitely interesting and something unique but it just couldn’t replace the monster movie mayhem.


Look at how adorably dumb he looks!
One thing I really enjoyed about this movie is Godzilla itself.  I liked the new design of the kaiju and how he evolved from the beginning of the film to the very creepy final moments that hint to what was coming next.  I also liked the special effects that brought this new Godzilla to life as they utilized motion capture computer effects but also kept the look of a man in a rubber suit.  There were times, however, that the special effects were kinda weak as its body didn’t seem to move right.  This was especially noticeable with the legs.  There was something just off when it walked as it seemed the legs were never being raised high enough but rather just moved slightly up and down as forward momentum occurred.  To put it another way, the monster seemed to move like those toys that are on wheels hidden on the bottom and has legs that are just there to create the illusion of mobility as the wheels move the thing forward.  Beyond this, however, I really enjoyed this new, far more menacing Godzilla.

Such beautiful impending destruction.

Shin Godzilla has some great acting (except for the American voice over actors during a couple scenes—holy smokes, they were bad), the visuals look great and it’s a new take on the old formula.  However, when I watch a Godzilla film, I don’t want to see government officials debating on what they should do and how they should go about executing an evacuation.  I wanna see monsters fighting and armies being scrambled to stop them.  There were elements of the film I enjoyed and I really liked this new monster but, overall, I thought the whole thing was pretty average and wasn’t that impressive.

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