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Monday, August 28, 2017

Shin Godzilla (2016)

I love Godzilla movies. So, when I was walking around my local big box store and saw the Blu-Ray for Shin Godzilla I was super excited. My wife said I let out a squeal of joy! Seriously I love these movies and have been waiting for a “real” one to be made again. Clearly, I snapped up the Disc and came home to watch it right away.

The movie opens up with a patrol vessel boarding an abandoned boat in Tokyo Bay. I was having some Zombie flashbacks! The ship gets tossed around in what everyone thinks is an underwater eruption of some sort. As things progress it becomes clear that something big is lurking in the sea. Godzilla soon makes an appearance… sort of. He smashes his way thru part of the city before disappearing under the sea to mutate further. See this time around Godzilla doesn’t start out like we would expect. Instead we get a strange looking, googly eyed creature that spits goo out of his gills. Not kidding. But the creature does eventually mutate into the Godzilla that we all know and love. By that time, he is unstoppable so the only choice is for the United States to nuke Tokyo! That is until a brave team figures out they can use a coagulant to gum up Godzilla’s blood and turn him into stone. Um okay not the silliest thing I’ve seen.

I so wanted to love this movie. A real Japanese made proper Godzilla movie should be the palette cleanser that I need as a fan after the most recent Western take on the big guy. It killed me that this was such a bad movie. There are many things wrong with it but I’m going to focus on just two that destroyed any chance of me enjoying it.

First is the pacing. The formula for one of these movies is simple. Give us some human characters to help move the story along and fill in the details, remember Godzilla doesn’t speak. The rest should be Godzilla smashing buildings and fighting the army and/or another monster. Easy enough. This movie gives us just a few minutes of Godzilla and much of that is the “fake” pre- mutated one with googly eyes that looks stupid. Yeah that sounds harsh but it is the truth. The rest of the movie is dominated by committee meetings. Exciting discussions such as if the military can defend Japan from the monster since it isn’t specifically mentioned in the law defining such things, as well as many other fascinating topics. I spent the better part of two hours watching fake meetings. I don’t even like spending that much time in real meetings and I have a stake in the resulting decisions! So boring.

What the hell is this abomination?
The other complaint that I’m going to register here is the creature design. The first incarnation of Godzilla looks awful. Who the hell thought those stupid eyes were a good idea? As I’ve stated we don’t get much monster mayhem in this one and much of that is ruined with the dumbest looking creature I’ve seen in a long time! At first I was made they were setting up such a lame foe for Godzilla to fight, but then it turns out to be him. I almost turned the movie off right then. But that isn’t what I do so onward I went.

Now to be fair when we finally get to see the classic Godzilla the CGI is decent. They tweak it so that you get just a bit of the flavor of the old rubber suited fun with fake looking buildings. I also loved to hear the traditional theme song. But clearly that wasn’t enough to salvage it. It pains me to say it but I do not recommend Shin Godzilla.

© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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