Shin Godzilla, and why I think this film feels like a soulless cashgrab.2,202 Views3 RepliesAdd A Reply
So, why do I think Shin Godzilla is a cashgrab? Well, for this, I need to compare it with a niche of movies that have been making success last years: The Disney live action remakes. Yes, that's the kind of cashgrab I'm comparing Shin with: A reboot/remake, that tries to catch the feeling of the original movie, however, it doesn't even understand what makes the original one so good to begin with!
And yes, this is Shin Godzilla, you can obviously see the movie tries to be the spiritual sucessor of the 1954 Godzilla movie, but, just like these Disney live action remakes, it doesn't.
However, Shin takes a step further, such as the over-exagerated overuse of subtitles and location names, the horrible directing (especially indoors, when he seems to be challenging himself to make as many quick shots of the same thing happening as possible; the end result is that the indoor scenes feel like a monday office PSA made to pump employees up about consumer spending patterns or something), and the complete disconnect between the indoor scenes and the Godzilla scenes.
Other problems are even more fundamental; the way the dialogue is filmed is extremely pretentious, where they just rapid-cut between someone saying something quick (in an extremely stiff way, without any camera movement or sound effects). None of the characters have any flavor to them, they’re basically all blend, except for that Asian-American girl.
I won't say about Godzilla design, because... I love it! I remember the first time I have seen it, the design looked so misterious, so intimidating, so scary... However, they managed to **** up even the design! He had such a waste of potential, spending most of the movie walking, until wich should be the climax: The atomic breath scene! But even that... It felt wasted... I think if the movie focused before on Godzilla being terrifying, destroying everything and everyone who dares stay in his way, and before you say But you had it in the movie! No, we didn't, a 13 second scene doesn't count...
B-But the writing is e-excellent!!!
What excellent writing? It’s obviously trying to make some points about the Japanese political and international situation, but Japan does not even feel like a nation in this film. We get no looks into the citizens, no personal stories symbolic of the common man that intersect with the Godzilla threat, no sense that this destruction matters at all. The only thing we get are a bunch of political “leaders”, whom I have already said are completely interchangeable. They talk about Godzilla conquering the world, but when the world is this flat, I can’t care at all. If you want me to care about something, give it life.
The original Godzilla in 1954 did a much better job at this. The scars of the war are evident throughout the film, seen in elements such as Daisuke Serizawa’s eyepatch and the bomb survivor who is determined to survive the Godzilla attack. Yet, we also get the idea that the Japanese people have endured these hardships. When a fishing boat is destroyed and we start to realize that a horrible, inescapable destruction is around the corner, there is a horrible dread and a tragic inevitability that despite the enduring fortitude of the Japanese people, they will lose everything again. That is why Godzilla’s destruction is so potent in that film, and not in Shin...
When you think about it though, that's kind of calling the MonsterVerse a cashgrab too.
This is actually really interesting.
But.. I disagree.
I wouldn’t deny that the movie was brought on by the success of G14’ yes that much is true.
First let me address the subtitles. I won’t comment on the film put out to any other country than Japan, but I will say. The point of subtitles is to confuse you. That seems counterintuitive, but it’s an intentional choice, because it is used to get you into the world of the characters. They have to deal with this day in day out. They have to memorize the titles, names, and locations of people in an instant. That’s the world they live in. Handheld camera makes it feel more personal as well, which just adds to the confusion. Eventually you don’t even need to know the characters names. It’s just Beaucracy.
Now about your point on it not being political this really irks me because you miss the point. It’s not inter-personal conflict because they’re no time. The politics itself is what’s being critiqued. It’s how slow the government moves. The reason the people, the citizens are glossed over because of the government. They’re being sluggish.
What do you want Japan to feel like? A superpower with a Godzilla fighting defense force? Well that’s not what it is. Politics is boring. That’s the point. The movie isn’t supposed to be like that. Not some Godzilla vs nukes and missiles everything. It is the most realistic portrayal of a response because of how BORING the people are.
You know in 2011 people died because of this problem. Many factors played into it, but when the tsunami turned out to be way bigger than was thought, the response was slow, and people were warned after that wall of water had reached they’re house. And people died broadcasting news about it.
My main problem is you just mainly gut the movie to just being about “politics” because you completely get rid of what the film is critiquing. Politics itself needs something to focus on.