Godzilla has had a rough time overseas. The success of Jurassic Park made Godzilla become just a giant T-Rex, never capturing just what made the creature such a nuclear formed terror. But Shin Godzilla is here to right all those wrongs, as Evanglion director Hideaki Anno takes it back home, providing a stomping good time for all.
The Godzilla this time round is treated as a natural scale disaster, very much a metaphor to the disastrous earthquake back in 2011. We see the monster move from sea to the streets, wreckage and deaths in its wake, an unstoppable force. It’s up to the top government officials to figure a way to prevent Godzilla from causing further damage, and whilst discussions and politics might sound a little dull, this is played with satire in mind, to the Evangelion anime planning theme. So of course it’s anything but.
The creature itself feels like a call back to the oldies, with the initial appearance of Godzilla basically wobbling through the city as a googly-eyed puppet. It’s half hilarious, half unnerving, working well with the satirical office screw ups, though the scary Zilla does pop up when the film tonally shifts to the world of serious.
And this is when the film starts to waver. When it isn’t poking too much fun at ineptness of government officials, it’s simply working like a propaganda movie about everybody getting together to overcome a disaster. An optimistic approach isn’t a problem, but the execution is workmanlike, not Godzillalike.