#31in31 2016: Shin Godzilla

shin-godzilla-poster“I repeat. There is no danger of the creature coming ashore.”

Story: A huge aquatic creature clambers up from the deep, and onto Japanese soil. Red alert! Red alert! *SKREEONK*

Scares: Of the mild, kaiju variety.

Splat factor: Ditto. Mostly various stuff dripping from Godzilla.

Closing scene “shocker”?: Yep, youbetcha. Yeah, it’s a given there’ll be another Godzilla film, but that final scene is something I’ve never seen before. Wild…though I’m sure some kaiju fans will harumph.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Yet another Godzilla/Gojira film from the wonderful folks at Toho Studios. That makes 29 Godzillas from Toho, and 31 Godzillas overall. This is also the third reboot of Toho’s franchise: 1984’s Godzilla being the beginning of the first reboot (the Heisei series), and 1999’s Godzilla 2000 being the second (the Millennium series).

Trick or Treat?: This reboot of the Toho series that put Man In Suit on the map is totally legit.  Godzilla’s back, baby!  And with a feel that is #StraightOuttaToho, it’s a welcome return.

The plot is an interesting mix of old school Toho and new jack found footage-esque camerawork as the camera shows how the big guy’s destruction affects the puny humans. And with this ‘Zilla, there’s the ol’ Man In Suit look. I’ve missed you, Man In Suit.  Plus, there’s an evolution to Godzilla here in Shin, which is a new twist to the mythos.  In fact, I wondered if this film was riffing off of

There’s also a nice “we’re all in this together” vibe.  Sure, a lot of the politicians are too busy trying to cover their asses when the threat occurs – “… We haven’t determined what Agency it falls under.”  But once the throwdown starts?  The politicians work as a team. No yipee kai yay solo badassery. And that’s really refreshing. So is the upgrade to 21st Century social media; tying in various platforms as a way to catch the pulse of the population outside of the PM’s quarters. Shots of comment threads in chat rooms keep the ensemble cast in tune with the larger picture; the destruction and death just outside.

But the most important part of Shin are the scenes where decision makers have to weigh the destruction of large parts of their country with the economic repercussions of not going along with what the rest of the world (UN) wants them to do. I like how the Prime Minister actually gives a crap about the weapons he authorizes, and the collateral damage they could cause. Destruction can be rebuilt…but the lives lost can’t be brought back. It’s powerful stuff.

Find Shin Godzilla. Watch it.  Enjoy.

Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.

[NOTE: I received a free screener copy of this film.  That didn’t affect my review.  I received no compensation for this review, not even a piece of nigiri from the Prime Minister.  That guy just doesn’t share.]
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