When a massive, gilled monster emerges from the deep, a rag-tag team of volunteers cuts through a web of red tape to uncover the monster's weakness and its mysterious ties to a foreign superpower. But time is not on their side.
Edit: The blu-ray and DVD both have the original theatrical version with Japanese audio + English Subtitles AND an English Dub. However, the Japanese audio and English dubs are sold separately on Amazon video and on other streaming sites.
Original review: Shin Godzilla is the first Japanese Godzilla since 2004 and it had a limited run in the U.S. in October 2016 after opening in Japan earlier in the summer.
This movie is unlike any Godzilla film that has preceded it. Briefly, it’s about Tokyo being attacked by a giant monster that starts out looking nothing like Godzilla and appears to be more of an animal than anything malicious. However, the destruction it causes compels the slow bureaucracy of Japan's government to act uncharacteristically quickly. As the government wrestles with the moral implications trying to fight a giant monster, every attack seems to cause the monster to change shape until—finally—it unleashes the kind of destructive force Godzilla is known for. The U.S., not wanting to risk Godzilla raining destruction in other parts of the world, orders a nuclear strike on the beast. Japan must now figure out how to destroy Godzilla to save what's left of Tokyo before America drops another nuclear bomb on it.
The film is a critique of Japanese bureaucracy and inefficiency. It balances that critique with moral concerns and intricacies of foreign policy. It is extraordinary fast paced with a surprising amount of depth. It is nothing like either American version of Godzilla, and is nothing like any Japanese Godzilla. It won critical acclaim in Japan and won Japan's Academy Prize for Best Picture (basically Japan's Oscars) plus six other awards from the Academy.
As a big Godzilla fan, I found this movie to be excellent, as have the non-Godzilla fans I've shown the movie too. At the screenings I went to, I noticed a lot of younger people who are more anime fans than tokusatsu fans, but they still loved it. If you have any reason at all to think you'll like it, whether your a fan of anime, tokusatsu, either America version, or whatever, the chances that you'll enjoy this move are high and it's worth a watch.
Added after receiving blu-ray:
The blu-ray has all the Japanese subtitles removed and replaced with English subtitles. During it's U.S. theatrical run, English subtitles were superimposed over the Japanese subtitles, which often made reading them difficult. It also obscured the picture, which was a pity because the cinematography is gorgeous. It also looks like the blu-ray English subtitles are better than the theatrical ones, but it's hard to tell.
Lastly, the blu-ray's expository subtitles (i.e., place names and descriptions of new character's duties) are displayed above in the picture. In the digital downloads, the titles are within the picture frame. (But still on top.)
I enjoyed the movie. It wasn't campy like some Godzilla movies where he is a friend of Tokyo and children. He was an actual juggernaut of atomic destruction. A MONSTER. I also enjoyed that there was no sappy love story. The satire of the Japanese government was done well and made the film feel real. The only part I disliked was the involvement of the US government. I am an American citizen. I understand that our government isn't perfect and I could see that it would probably be a bully to the Japanese and that's a shame. What I dislike is the idea that someone would actually consider dropping another nuke on a city of a foreign nation without consulting with that nation if that is what they want to do to handle the Godzilla problem. I just don't want the Japanese and other foreign nations thinking that all Americans are political bullies and don't mind dropping nukes in their backyards. Many Americans would definitely protest that plan of attack. Thank you Toho Studios for entertaining this American with another great Godzilla movie.
My wife and I loved the many talents of this Godzilla!
We also were fascinated by how the PM made every last decision - sometimes being asked twice to do the same thing, but worded in different ways! A person sitting next to "madam" asked her a question, which she repeated to the PM. The PM made a response, which "madam" repeated to her underling. (Was this supposed to be comedy?)
Also, how many people in a room does it take to make decisions? The amount of people in each meeting - many not more than decorations - again fascinating.
We are both glad we watched - mainly because of what Godzilla could do!
I have to admit that seeing classic Toho Studios rubber sock puppet Gojira in the 1st part of the film was both comic and nostalgic. However, as the 'Monster' matured, so did the graphics. The new interpretation was, I thought, excellent. I have read all sorts of reviews talking about some petty politico overtones but did not find it to be in any way pedantic or negative. Just enjoy a wonderful Toho neo-classic Godzilla movie!
Toho brushes off the dust from the Eastern Godzilla IP to reveal Godzilla as some kind of horrifying twisted titanic spawn from hell. Kind of nightmarish, as a longtime fan of Godzilla I felt this incarnation is really awesome. I feel pretty lucky to finally have a good western Godzilla (thanks, Legendary pictures) and now this, maybe I can look forward to 2 Godzilla pictures within the same year?
The movie was epic! There was harsh critique in this movie from viewers but every scene has its purpose and it ties well with the message they want to convey. Foreign policy and politics aside, it was amazing to see Godzilla. This was the best type of Godzilla I have ever seen. I enjoyed the action scenes and the actors were not bad.
Excellent satirical reimagining of Godzilla's origins. The exposition can be a little much toward the end, but considering that exposition is where the meat of the film's message comes from it is forgivable. Do not go into this movie expecting an action extravaganza. You will be disappointed. Instead watch for sharp criticism of the Japanese government's handling of the Fukushima reactor debacle and a strong message of self-determination for Japan.
House of Cards meets Godzilla with all the aspects that made the early Godzilla great!. I enjoyed this much more then any of the Hollywood renditions that have come out over the years. Gets back to the original material while added dimension to the movie.