Something completely different: Yay, a new Toho Godzilla in 2023!!!
I usually gossip about things on my Sunday night slot for buffed.de. Most of the time I get excited. But this time I’m happy and present you with something completely different than my opinion on WoW, Blizzard, Pokémon Go or Rings of Power (my opinion on the last episode of the first season is coming, I promise!) This time it’s about my not-so-secret kaiju passion.
As a kid I was a big fan of the old Toho Godzilla movies because… well, Godzilla is just a stunningly awesome monster! Then some US studios set about turning the atomic air-spewing Godzilla into a hero and a villain. Emmerich’s T-Rex Godzilla still gives many fans goosebumps of horror (try googling GINO ^^).
And the film adaptations by Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures and Disruption Entertainment with Godzilla, Godzilla II: King of Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong are of high quality, but are also viewed with a certain skepticism. Godzilla is a Japanese invention and many people who were fans of the kaiju before the American film adaptations feel that Japanese people should also stage the Japanese monster. It’s a good thing that Toho is supposed to release a new Godzilla film on November 3, 2023 (on Godzilla Day, mind you).
And then I thought to myself that I should definitely recommend Shin Godzilla to the fans of cheap productions and trash among you. What am I doing with this! Watch Shin Godzilla! And if you don’t want to be spoiled, then read away now!
The divine Godzilla
Shin Godzilla is the 29th film in the Toho series and starts with a very simple premise: A driverless boat is adrift in Tokyo Bay, and a journalist’s notes are found on it. In the same breath, the water in the bay begins to bubble. Nobody knows what is going on there, at first it is suspected that it is a volcanic eruption. However, an enormous amount of radioactive radiation has been emitted at the same time… and then suddenly a giant monster is moving towards the metropolis.
In fact, the film witnesses Godzilla evolving as he rampages through Tokyo, from aquatic creature to land animal that crawls through the streets, eventually taking the form of the kaiju we all know (and love?) Godzilla wreaks havoc So through the city… and the bosses of Tokyo have nothing better to do than discuss what this monster is, what needs to be done and how it can possibly be brought down in seemingly endless conferences.
And that is, allow me this comment, absolutely absurd, so that at least I have to laugh helplessly. And unfortunately it’s also absolutely tragic, because somehow this whole bureaucracy in Shin Godzilla is reminiscent of fatal real-world events where people urgently need help and decision-makers talk about responsibilities. I quote at this Post from Wikipedia: “Jörg Buttgereit wrote in the ray film magazine: “The uncontrollable monster is a clear symbol of the tsunami and reactor catastrophe in Fukushima. Soulless and unstoppable like the 2011 tsunami, the kaiju pours its radioactive glowing body onto the mainland as far as Tokyo. Gojira is the salt in the wound. The manifest acknowledgment of guilt by an otherwise proud nation. (…) The film is an unusually self-critical description of the state of helplessness in the face of the still threatening situation in Fukushima by Japanese standards. Trivially relevant cinema of well-being that can only come from the monster island of Japan.””
The Deadly Godzilla
Apart from this absurdity of the situation and the resulting, possibly unwanted, comedy, Godzilla is also simply the king of the monsters. There’s this one scene where the military is desperate to stop Godzilla’s second attack on Tokyo, and Godzilla loads whatever it can…set to classical music…
Then it looks like this.
This scene is absolutely classic, traditional and gripping monster cinema. In that moment, I knew I loved Shin Godzilla. And now I’m even happier that there will be another Toho movie about Godzilla in the coming year, after the American King of Monsters disappointed me so much that I didn’t even want to give Godzilla vs. Kong a chance. If you like classic monster movies, you should give the Toho movies a chance, no matter how cheesy they may be. Godzilla is Japanese at heart.