Sunday, October 16, 2016

Movies: Shin Godzilla

When I was a kid, I used to spend summers watching old Godzilla movies from Blockbuster. Of course, I loved seeing guys in rubber suits duking it out with each other, but I also hated the talky interstitial scenes of scientists arguing about how to stop the monsters.

"Shin Godzilla" (a/k/a "Godzilla Resurgence"), directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, does the impossible - the parts featuring people are (almost) as fun as the parts featuring Godzilla crushing Tokyo:

Images of panicked evacuees shrewdly evoke the March 2011 tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, much like how IshirĊ Honda's original "Godzilla" echoed a devastated WWII-era Tokyo. And, as you might expect from the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hideaki Anno layers on the political satire pretty thick, with endless ministry meetings gleefully depicting bureaucratic paralysis (the bombastic Evangelion-esque soundtrack is a playful contrast).

Still, the movie is at its best when the big G gets to do its thang, and the monster here is one of the coolest versions of Godzilla yet - an ever-evolving, nigh-unstoppable force of destruction. "Shin" means "new," "true," or "god" in Japanese, and "Shin Godzilla" is all of those.

Rating: 8/10 (9/10 if you're a Godzilla fan)


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