Godzilla Minus One
a lifelong Godzilla fan and I have seen all the movies multiple times—except
for that American made Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), which I only saw once
because it's crap. Anyway, the latest Godzilla movie, Godzilla Minus One,
is from Toho, the Japanese production company that created the gigantic
nuclear-powered reptilian monster with the original film Gojira all the
way back in 1954. Godzilla Minus One is the 37th Godzilla picture to be
produced, and, amazingly, it is the best Godzilla film ever made.
the surface, this follows the typical Godzilla film blueprints where the Big G
is the baddie: the monster appears, causes chaos and destruction, then the
humans have to figure out a way to destroy it. In fact, Minus One is the
closest thing to a remake of the '54 original.
what makes this such an exceptional movie? It has well-written human
characters, great action scenes, and this is the scariest Godzilla has been
since 2001's Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out
Minus One is a period piece, set in Japan, and
opens during the waning days of World War II in 1945. Kamikaze pilot Kōichi Shikishima
(Ryunosuke Kamiki) lands his plane on a small island and claims to the
mechanics crew that his aircraft was malfunctioning. Later that night, a
dinosaur-type creature that the villagers call Godzilla comes ashore, and
Shikishima freezes with fear while other men are killed by the monster.
Branded as a coward,
Shikishima returns to a bombed-out Tokyo and rather unwillingly takes in a
young woman, Noriko (Minami Hamabe), and an orphaned child. Then the now bigger
and atomic-fueled Godzilla reappears, and it's up to Shikishima and a team of
war veterans to attempt to destroy the creature.
The film is written
and directed by Takashi Yamazaki, who also supervised the visual effects. Yes
it's the digital age and long gone are the days of a man in a rubber suit, but
the Suitmation had a certain charm to it and I miss it. Still the digital Godzilla
here looks pretty damn cool. The movie also makes great use of late music
composer Akira Ifukube's original Godzilla themes.
Look, I love the hell out of the colorful
Godzilla monster rallies of the '60s like Mothra vs, Godzilla (1964) or
the cheapo entries of the '70s like Godzilla vs, Gigan (1972), but Godzilla
Minus One is stark, serious, and really makes you feel that something is at