With Legendary’s hit 2014 film featuring the Japanese icon, Toho has unleashed a new version of the Big-G in this insane installment from two icons.
After a Japan Coast Guard boat is destroyed resulting in a flood, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Rando Yaguchi suspects something is not right and that something under the water is the reason. His suspicions prove correct when the creature responsible comes out of the water and invades Tokyo. As the creature wreaks havoc, it starts to slowly evolve into a two footed gigantic monster. Concerned and now believing Yaguchi, the government puts him in charge of a research team. However, he will get some help from the U.S. on this mission.
Japanese-American Kayoko Anne Patterson, who works as an envoy, is in Japan where she reveals that Garo Maki, a disgraced scientist, had been studying mutations caused by radioactive contamination. Together, they discover through Maki’s notes that this creature has been given a name: Gojiro, or Godzilla. Godzilla has been wreaking havoc all over Japan but when it loses its energy, it goes into a dormant state. When Yaguchi and Patterson learn that the United Nations plans to set off a nuclear attack in Japan, they learn there is another way to stop Godzilla and will need time to hatch their mission. They only have a few days to succeed or Japan will be the victim of a major fallout.
The final Japanese Godzilla film for now, due to a contract between Legendary Pictures and Toho Pictures, in a modern-day reboot of the original 1954 classic that started the entire time. Where the original film was influenced by the World War II-era atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this movie is influenced by the infamous 2011 nuclear meltdown in the Fukushima Prefecture as well as the earthquake and tsunami that same year.
The film is directed by two legends, Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi. Anno is known for his work on one of the most legendary anime series ever, Neon Genesis Evangelion while Higuchi is a renowned special effects artist known for his work on the mixed-reaction live-action adaptation of Attack on Titan. Anno’s script is a well-made story involving the government using modern day technology and the fear of re-living an atomic fallout unless our heroes can find a way to stop Godzilla without keeping Japan as the result of a nuclear attack. There are shades of pro-government, but the film does prove that even if the United Nations want to go to extremes, it doesn’t need to go that far.
The human cast, including actors who appeared in past Godzilla films, do quite a good job, especially our heroes Yaguchi and Patterson, played respectively by Hiroki Hasegawa and Satomi Ishihara. What’s even more outstanding is that Ishihara has an amazing command of English, thanks in part to dialogue coaches Sean Muramatsu and Sharla Hinskens (the latter is a famous YouTuber about her life in Japan). However, what’s even more great is that while Legendary uses motion capture in the form of T.J. Storm as Godzilla in their MonsterVerse, this film has the classic performer in a suit for the evolved form of Godzilla. Mansai Nomura dons the Godzilla suit, combined with some amazing visual effects for the blasts. The finale is quite interesting and even could bring a follow-up when Toho regains the right to make a new Japanese film.
Shin Godzilla is an amazing reboot of the original with the current tragedies in Japan as the basis for the new Big-G. The classic actor in the suit returns and some excellent special effects and the story make this a worthy entry in the franchise.
WFG RATING: A
A Toho Co. Pictures production in association with Cine Bazar. Directors: Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi. Producers: Yoshihiro Sato, Masaya Shibusawa, Taichi Ueda, and Kazutoshi Wadakura. Writer: Hideaki Anno. Cinematography: Kosuke Yamada. Editing: Hideaki Anno and Atsuki Sato.
Cast: Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Satomi Ishihara, Ren Osugi, Akira Emoto, Kengo Kora, Mikako Ichikawa, Jun Kunimura, Pierre Taki, Kyusaku Shimada, Mansai Nomura.