For Reel

Shin Godzilla (2016)
October 23, 2016, 11:25 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , , ,

Director(s): Hideaki Anno & Shinji Higuchi
3 Stars
shin-godzillaToho’s resurrection of its most beloved creation comes with an appropriate level of reinvention. Although it is essentially a remake of 1954’s Gojira, directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi ground the film in the convoluted bureaucracy and the half-assed international involvement—while Godzilla as a creature has been read as a metaphor since its inception, this version comments less on destruction itself and just how hopeless a society feels in the throes of destruction. After Godzilla first returns to the water, one of Japan’s leaders remarks that he is relieved the monster was gone in just two hours. Another retorts that it was a travesty that they let a monstrous creature wreck havoc unanswered for all that time. The film plays in lulls and climaxes—each Godzilla encounter is book-ended by lengthy sequences in boardrooms, giving the film a structure where both the audience and the characters within the film concern themselves with the suspense of the next attack. It can be a frustrating viewing—the climax has a hard-time following Godzilla’s penultimate rampage through the darkened streets—but the film shows an admirable interest in the sociological realism of a hypothetical disaster on this level.

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