Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★★½

One of very few Godzilla movies in which the Godzilla portions aren't the part you wait for. It's all of the other stuff that grabs hold. Not that the Godzilla action isn't wonderful (it really really really is), but the fast-talking takedown of the bureaucratic red tape which stifles disaster response is perfection.

Where the original film succeeded was in the use of Godzilla as tool to explore the understanding of - and recovery from - the dropping of the atom bomb. Shin Godzilla is the first film since the original (that I'm aware of), that shares concerns which run deeper than just kaiju action. Here we see a Japan that has recently recovered from multiple earthquakes, and is now using Godzilla as a tool to discuss disaster response.

It also seems to speak on the ownership of the Godzilla property, simultaneously mocking and applauding the American Godzilla films.

The score, featuring portions of the original film's music, as well as some more modern operatics (and some crunchy riff-rock) is one of the best of the year.

And whoever managed to subtitle this in a way that captures the job-title gag (you'll see what I mean) deserves an Oscar in subtitling.

I haven't seen every Godzilla movie, but I've seen many, and this is the second best one.