Shin Godzilla is the latest Japanese entry into the Godzilla franchise after some Western versions that received mixed reviews at best. Now it is back in Japanese hands and directors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi pack it full of a lot of different tones and genres. Whilst the film follows the traditional Japanese story of Godzilla, where a mutated creature comes ashore near Tokyo a and begins to wreak havoc across Japan, much of Shin Godzilla is actually focused on the government and the screenwriter Anno has a lot to say about Japan politically, both within the country and on an international stage. Anno clearly wants to make a point about Japan’s role on the World stage and how they’ve held themselves back through the inordinate amount of red tape and due process that has to be gone through in order to get something done.
And this does mean that sometimes the Godzilla destructive fun can get lost and forgotten. And given that Shin Godzilla was made for the relatively low budget of $15 million this isn’t a huge CGI fest. The initial first stage of Godzilla is actually a little underwhelming, looking a little like a giant chicken. But when he transforms fully into the more familiar Godzilla creature it is truly a sight to behold. If the filmmakers could have found a nicer balance between the political commentary and big destructive action then the whole film would have been a lot stronger. But as it is Shin Godzilla is well worth watching if you’re a big Godzilla fan.