Shin Godzilla Review! Full Spoilers!

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"An ultimate homage to 1954 with 84's political standpoints and a terrifying, unprecedented masterpiece!"

Hello again Godzilla fans. It is time for the spoiler filled review of Shin Godzilla. After finally watching this movie, all I can say is...holy shit! Without question one of the greatest Godzilla films of all time. Chances are, if you praise the 1954 and 1984 films, you will praise Shin Godzilla. Lets start with the facts and get this review going shall we?

Directed by: Hideaki Anno
Special effects director and co-director: Shinji Higuchi
Screenplay by: Hideaki Anno
Music composed by: Shiro Sagisu
Cinematography by: Kosuke Yamada
VFX director: Katsuro Onoe
Chief producer: Minomi Ichikawa
VFX supervisor: Atsuki Sato
VFX producer: Tetsuo Ohya
Shin Godzilla designed by: Mahiro Maeda
Shin Godzilla maquette by: Takayuki Takeya
Shin Godzilla potrayed by: Mansai Nomura via CGI motion capture. A colorless maquette was built for CG animators to use as a reference and render the CG Godzilla model.

Starring: Hiroki Hasegawa as Rando Yaguchi
Satomi Ishihara as Kayoko Ann Patterson
And Yutaka Takenouichi as aide to the prime minister.

As tradition with any Toho Godzilla film, the Toho logo starts off the film. For the first time, fans are treated with the Toho logo again, which happens to be the older version from the 1960's, which was the golden age monster boom. As the second logo fades, the 1954 original footsteps along with the original 1954 roar is heard over the Shin Godzilla title which like 54 is in black and white.

So, the film opens up with a ship, the glory-maru, floating in Tokyo bay empty. While on board, an envelope, origami swan, a pair of glasses, and a pair of shoes are left behind. It is speculated that the owner has committed suicide. In Japanese culture, if one commits suicide, they take off their shoes to show that the individual has left behind this world. Suddenly, a huge explosion rocks the boat, and a foundation of blood erupts from the water. More of the blood pours through the ceiling of the aqua line tunnel beneath the bay. Of you're a Japanese movie-goer, this scene will haunt you. This scene resembles the real life tragedy of the Fukushima disaster of 3/11. Similar to both 1954 and 1984, a boat starts off the film. 1954's opening was solely based on the lucky dragon incident. Another real life tragedy that too many western fans seem to forget.


Anyway, this incident prompts the Japanese government into action. Rando Yaguchi, who has dreams of becoming the prime minister one day, because the current prime minister, Ren Osagi, is a weak pushover who is not the best in handling crisis control, similar to how the Japanese government is today. The next few minutes is all talk, which is normal in ANY Godzilla film. The current situation is discussed, and the government must decide what to do. This is all too familiar as in 1954. The conversations is often humorous and call for a good time watching this film.

Well, Rando Yaguchi believes that this incident was caused by a strange, living creature, which images start popping up on the internet ever since the incident occurred. His claim is refuted of course. Like all governments, they cover up the truth or even say it's ridiculous. So, the government cites the incident as either an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. Their tune quickly changed however, when an enormous tail emerges from the bay. This creature, staying in the bay for the time being, as Oatama Hiromi, the nature conversation bureau director, calls in specialists to try and identify this creature. The prime minister calls a press conference and informs everyone that this creature will not make landfall. Unfortunately, waving in like the real life tragedy of the Tsunami, the creature eventually makes landfall, dragging ships and cars along with it. Now, feeling pressured by the cabinet, the prime minister issues a state of emergency and the jsdf are called into action. During this whole sequence, track 1 from the soundtrack, "Persecution of the masses" is played. It fits perfectly too. We see the creature continue on causing destruction while families and all other Japanese people are fleeing the streets and it's also the scene from the teaser trailer that occurs. A nice sky view of this creature is shown as well and all of this sequence is happening during the daylight. After crushing a building the creature slithered up against, this animal stops dead in its tracks. You actually think it died but, this creature undergoes a bizarre evolution process in which, track 2, the "Godzilla comes ashore" plays. As it finally evolved into its next stage, it lets out the 1954 original roar twice. Which is a honor to all Godzilla fans.

So, this creature now starts to raid through Shinagawa. The jsdf finally arrives, which track 3 plays of course, the jsdf are locked and loaded and are about to open fire until one of them says they can't open fire because civilians were still in the area. They hold fire, and spread out. However, the creature roars again and heads to the bay but, stops for just a split second to have its back turned against us and gives a hint to its beam, then eventually returns to the ocean.

So, now the government continues to deliberate on how to deal with this creature. Some want it dead, some idiots want it captured alive, etc etc. Yaguchi, who had been vindicated for his opinion that the giant creature existed in the first place, is now given permission to start a specialized group to study the monster. "The enormous creature special disaster head quarters, or team Yaguchi, is established. Standing in the wreckage and ruin, which is beautifully presented in how much destruction was already caused, team Yaguchi's first discovery is a trail of radiation left behind in the monsters path. Just like 1954.

This is when Kyoko Ann Patterson arives on the scene. She is looking for a scientist named Goro Maki, who had been working on energy research in the U.S. it is ultimately determined that Maki is the person who committed suicide in Tokyo bay. Strange maps and documents were recovered from the envelope and are shown to Kayoko who shares them with Yaguchi. Yaguchi sees an English word that says "Godzilla" and Kayoko informs him that is the codename applied to the monster and it's true name is "Gojira."  After looking at the maps and documents, which appear to show people dumping nuclear waste in which is what this creature has been feeding on since 1954 and it was Mami who named the creature after a "God" of Odo Island that he grew up on.

Maki as it turns out has been studying this creature for over 62 years. The exact origins of Godzilla, and for what purposes the U.S. was studying him are left a mystery. Team Yaguchi has discovered that Godzilla contains a great amount of radiation in its body and that it is emitting heat and radioactivity as it moves. Before more can be learned, in Kamakura off the coast in the ocean, Godzilla surfaces and like the slow death we are all familiar with, walks slowly. It is during this sequence Akira Ifukube's original Kong vs. Godzilla soundtrack is played. Fans who are not familiar with the original Japanese version will be hearing this for the first time. As Godzilla continues, Akira Ifukube's score from terror of mechagodzilla is also played. Die hard fans will be cheerful when hearing these two scores.  This is not only appropriate but very classic.

Now, Tomogawa becomes the line of defense against Godzilla and the jsdf begins their attack. First are the helicopters. They use two different styles of machine gun fire that hit Godzilla directly in the face only to ricochet off of him. No signs of damage or even a scratch. They then go to missile attack, which still hit him in the face but does no damage again and Godzilla doesn't even act like they're there. The jsdf then goes to the tanks. The tanks open fire upon his legs, which still doesn't do a damn thing. As Godzilla still advances, the tanks realize they're in danger and get out of harms way except for one who gets caught under a broken bridge.

Now the jets are called in and they lay down the bombs on Godzilla, bouncing off of him and explode. Godzilla does stop for a minute to change directions and the jets hit him with another bombing run. The government thinks they have done it but, Godzilla is still standing like nothing happened. I don't know about you but, I felt sorry for these guys. They threw everything at him and nothing worked.

I want to take the time here to talk about the sound effects and the special effects before continuing.  Classic Tsuburaya-era sound effects from the 60's are used when the jsdf attacks. This was outstanding. Complete respect to the tokusatsu masters of the 50's and 60's.

The special effects? Toku fans, the maquette was used but for very few scenes. Mostly close ups of Godzilla was the animatronic puppet that supposedly failed effects shots. CGI lovers, you win as well. Majority of the film is CGI via motion capture. To me, this is the new standard for Japanese special effects in tokusatsu. Shinji Higuchi has studied the suits so much in movements that he incorporated that technique into the CGI.

Back to the movie. When the jsdf is rendered useless, Godzilla has now made it into the metropolitan center of the city. This is when the Japanese government asks the U.S. for assistance. We send in our B2's, the black hawks, or black angels of you will. So, Yaguchi and the government decide to evacuate the area. Godzilla, still rampaging through the streets of the city, is absorbing the power from the surrounding buildings, in Which the lights go out in the process. Godzilla is in the center of Tokyo, and our B2's arrive and drop MOP2 bombs onto Godzilla which actually hurt Godzilla enough to make him bleed. These bombs are almost as powerful as nuclear weapons by the way. When Godzilla stops bleeding, he roars out, which is the 60's roar, and lowers his head towards the ground and a purple flow begins to emanate from its back and spines. Slowly opening his mouth, the purple light is in the balance. Yaguchi and others look on. They can't believe Godzilla was still alive and had no idea what he was about to do next.

A blueish fog like substance erupts from his mouth flooding the city, then it turns into actual fire causing the city to ignite in flames, then it becomes concentrated into a purple beam. Godzilla turns his head up high with that beam stretching for miles, closes his mouth and lowers his head, then what looks like 30 plus beams shoot out of his back taking out our B2's because this Godzilla has a built in radar system that can track moving objects. Then Godzilla Lets out his breath beam attack once more, destroying and slicing through everything it comes into contact with. This is when the helicopter with the cabinet and prime minister are destroyed. As Godzilla continues, the purple beam fades back into the fire, engulfing the city into a holocaust of flames. This whole sequence was 1954 all over again in which the sea of fire reminds us all of the real Gojira.

Standing in the flames like a primordial devil, Godzilla is finished with his attack and starts to walk away but, stops dead in his tracks again. He must recharge his power before his next assault.

New prime minister is issued, team Yaguchi comes up with the plan to freeze Godzilla and the U.N. has plans to use nuclear weapons. The Japanese government actually gives permission to let them use nuclear weapons but, Kyoko stalls them out, giving Yaguchi and team the time they need to finish the coagulante in order to freeze Godzilla because, as it turns out, the origami swan was the key to defeating this creature. It revealed the layers of Godzilla and how they could stop him. Team Yaguchi finally gets out to finish Godzilla. They attack Godzilla at first to get him mobile again, then they use drones to continue the attack in which Godzilla continues to knock them out of the sky with his back beams. They continue on until Godzilla is drained out of the back beams but, he's not done. The purple glow spews through his tail in which, you guessed it, a tail beam insues. Godzilla is then attacked by power trains that actually knock him down.

Trucks move on with the coagulante and begin to pump him up with the drug. Godzilla does get about 20% dosage and gets mad. He unleashes his purple beam again destroying the first wave of trucks. Team Yaguchi then uses the buildings around Godzilla to hurt him and more power trains climb up Godzilla exploding again, knocking him back down. The second wave of trucks move in and finish the injection. Godzilla is fully given the coagulante and begins to slowly freeze, while letting out the 1984 roar.

So Godzilla is frozen and Japan wins. But, as we get another view of Godzilla, what are those humanoid creatures coming out of his tail? Spawns? Is Godzilla recreating mankind in his own image? Is this the reproducing asexually process? Do I smell a sequel? The only answer I can give is this....;)

There you have it. My full review of Shin Godzilla. Who wants to discuss this film now? :)
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MiracleMastermind's avatar
I loved that movie. The only problem was that we didn't see the first form evolving. All we saw was the tail moving while it was evolving. 

Do feel that when you watch this again and again you feel like Godzilla might be a possibility? Since this movie based on those real events and natural disasters?