Hello everyone! Though it took me a week longer than expected (I didn't realize I had THAT little free time until just now...) I've had a chance to watch Shin Godzilla thanks to our friends at Funimation. It hits theaters in a week on October 11th, so I'll keep this as spoiler-free as possible while doing my best to get you hyped.
First thing's first: It's good. This is a true throwback to the monster's original purpose, which was to be scary. This movie acts as if, essentially, Godzilla 54 never happened but is happening now in modern day. This world is seeing Godzilla for the first time and he is just hideous. I mean, look at those teeth. That weird grotesque tail. He's a monster in appearance all the way.
The last time we even came close to him looking remotely scary was in Giant Monsters All Out Attack where the roles were reversed and he was the bad guy. Even then, I wanted to snuggle him. Not now though. He's riddled with radiation burns, open sores, a beady eye. Nope. Nope nope nope.
I will say this: If your main complaint with 2014's U.S. release Godzilla was the monster's lack of screen time, then this may not be the kaiju movie for you. This is a movie about Japan's interpersonal conflict during a national crisis. A natural disaster movie with a focus on politics, international relations, and how unprepared we truly would be for something like this if it were to ever actually happen. So be ready. There's a lot of talking. Most of the movie is spent in meetings trying to figure out how to break through red tape, handle the monster, and deal with pressure from other nations. Luckily, the drama unfolding away from the monster is just as intense as the monster itself, and is never shallow.
Every moment of Godzilla's screen time is incredible. He has a few phases and the design for each is great. He's actually pretty cute early on, but upon achieving full power he is a massive and towering force of destruction. A culmination of humanity's malice in a physical body. His signature fire breath attack is probably the best I've ever seen as well. It absolutely floored me when he finally went nuts with his laser light show of death. I hope he's added as DLC to the newest Godzilla game (the one everybody hated but it's still sweet so WHATEVER). Maybe we'll be lucky and Atari will do another Destroy All Monsters: Melee style game and we'll really get to wreak some havoc with Shin Godzilla. It may be one of my favorite designs of our favorite monster.
The effects in the movie are great. It's a combination of a suit with some digital/CGI enhancements. While a couple of brief scenes look a little wonky, most of it is done very well and it's a perfect way to keep that Godzilla feel while allowing them to do more. The music in the movie is also perfect, revisiting original classic Godzilla tracks in all their modern glory to fill us with a sense of ominous calamity as he makes his way across the land. Definitely two thumbs up for the soundtrack on this one.
I want to talk more about him, his powers, his design, the movie in general and possible easter eggs - but I will save that for another day. This movie will be wonderful for theorists to pick apart and I can't wait for all of you to see it so we can have that discussion. Get out to your local theater on October 11th and see Shin Godzilla (Godzilla Resurgence). Trust me. It's good.