I finally got around to watching Shin Godzilla today. It’s a weird film, but it’s definitely worth watching. I started hearing interesting stuff about it last year, including good reviews from RogerEbert.com and Ars Technica.
It’s not a movie that I think mainstream American audiences would ever enjoy or understand. There are a lot of scenes of politicians and/or scientists sitting around conference room tables, talking. These scenes are well-done, and not at all boring, if you can keep up with the subtitles. (They’re talking really fast, so you do have to pay attention to keep up.)
The CGI effects are good, but not quite up to typical modern “Hollywood blockbuster” standards. Godzilla’s initial form is pretty weird-looking, but the creature evolves into something more closely resembling the typical Godzilla fairly quickly. Overall, I found the “Godzilla destroying Japan” scenes to be well-done and engaging (though occasionally funnier than they were probably supposed to be).
There’s a lot of stuff in the movie related to Japanese politics, particularly post-Fukushima. A lot of the political stuff reminds me of a manga I read years ago, the name of which I can’t remember right now. At any rate, it’s a lot more ambitious thematically than a typical monster movie.
I bought the movie on Blu-ray; I could really have gotten away with just renting it though. I may watch it again at some point, but really seeing it once was enough for me.