Monday, August 7, 2017

Finally, a Film Worthy of Godzilla's Stature

The 2016 Toho film Shin Godzilla is about an inept bureaucratic response to the monster's arrival in Tokyo. That alone makes it one of the rare Godzilla movies that offers an actual interesting story in which humans play a real role in the drama.
Shin Godzilla is excellent, a social and political satire wrapped neatly and adroitly in a giant monster movie. It’s wryly observant about the way bureaucratic confusion, ego-stroking and timidity generally fk things up. The politicians matter-of-factly regard the disaster as secondary to their political ambitions. Boy, is that true to life.
The film is really quite smart, and holds together thematically in a way most Godzilla movies don’t.
The appearance of Godzilla’s nuclear breath is deliberately delayed, and incredibly dramatic and formidable when it’s finally used.
For my money, this is the best Godzilla movie since the first, and my friend Nicholas Swaim may have answered the question of why that is. “It’s a comment on the 2011 tsunami/meltdown in Japan, much like how the first film is on the atomic bombings and Lucky Dragon irradiation,” he observed.

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