Shin Godzilla (2016)

shin godzilla poster 2016 movie gojira
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Unique and different take on a Godzilla movie

Drags at points

Movie Info

Movie Name: Shin Godzilla

Studio: Toho

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 25, 2016 (Premiere)/July 29, 2016 (Japan)/October 11, 2016 (US)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

shin godzilla first form monster kaiju

Godzilla…you look…different

Something has erupted from the sea bed.  A creature of unbelievable power has come on shore in Japan and has begun to mutate.  With the monster posing a structural and financial danger, the necessity to shut it down continues to grow as the monster gains size.  Calling in help from the United States, the monster named “Godzilla” or “Gojira” could become an international incident if it isn’t stopped…and unless a means is discovered quickly, Japan could be a complete loss.

Directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, Shin Godzilla (シン・ゴジラ or Shin Gojira) is a science-fiction-fantasy disaster film.  Following the Japanese Godzilla:  Final Wars in 2004 and the United States big-screen Godzilla in 2014, the kaiju film starts the Reiwa period and is the thirty first film in the Godzilla franchise.  The film was a massive moneymaker and received positive reviews.

Shin Godzilla started to get a buzz online.  With the new Godzilla hitting the U.S. (aka the “fat” Godzilla), a more traditional looking Godzilla with a traditional location was a welcomed event.  Shin Godzilla is one of the more interesting entries in the Godzilla series.

shin godzilla kaiju atomic breathe

Godzilla hates politics!!!

What makes Shin Godzilla interesting also makes it unique.  Typically, Godzilla rampages and some scientists work to stop it (and maybe another kaiju shows up and fights Godzilla).  Here, there is the aspect of Godzilla vs. scientists, but it is done almost entirely from the scientific and business perspective.  The idea of having to shut a city down due to a monster rampaging through it, the international concerns, and essentially trying the “science the hell” out how to solve the crisis was based around the ideas of the 2011 Japan tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant crisis, but the story does feel like it can parallel aspects of the coronavirus crisis of 2020 which makes the ideas of this film a bit more attainable than some Godzilla films.

The cast is rather dull.  It is intentionally a bunch of bureaucrats debating what to do with a few standouts like Kayoco Anne Patterson (played by Satomi Ishihara) as an envoy from the President of the United States (with the US having a weird, bossy big brother type role).  The acting is pretty wooden on all parts, but it adds to the idea that a lot of the events happening in the movie are procedural instead of action based.

shin godzilla tail laser atomic breathe

This Godzilla has some new tricks…including “Tail Laser” and “Disco Ball Godzilla Attack”

The movie also takes the visual cues from older Godzilla films, but at the same time modifies them.  Godzilla mutates through the course of the movie and the earlier versions of Godzilla aren’t that great, but I do like the red-almost bloody looking appearance of the final Godzilla.  It is more horrific looking and that is necessary since once again Godzilla is the “villain”.  Plus, I like the overhead shots of Godzilla stomping his way through the cities.  I do not know if I am sold on his tail laser or disco ball laser attack though…

Shin Godzilla is a really different ride if you are a fan of Godzilla movies.  I can’t say that I dove into the film and found it to be the most exciting film of all time, but I admire that after so many years that something truly different was tried with a Godzilla movie.  I often think, what would be the economic result of something like this happening?  Imagine the financial impact of 9-11 on a bigger scale.  With the Legendary Pictures Godzilla films coming out now, a sequel to Shin Godzilla is on hold for the moment, but I know Godzilla will be back in some form…and I hope that the Shin Godzilla format might be tweaked for a happy medium between the old Godzilla films and this modern take.  Shin Godzilla was followed by a series of Netflix shorts and the American Godzilla sequel Godzilla:  King of the Monsters in 2019.

Preceded By:

Godzilla (2014)

Followed By:

Godzilla:  King of the Monsters (2919)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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