The brand new Godzilla film, Shin-Godzilla -- also entitled Godzilla: Resurgence -- is showing in theaters across the United States for a limited time. It is directed by Hideaki Anno from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Shinji Higuchi from the Attack on Titan movies. It has received largely positive feedback from critics and is one of the highest grossing films of 2016 in Japan.
The movie begins when a boiling geyser erupts in the middle of Tokyo Bay, flooding the Aqua Line underground tunnel and causing panic. While the government initially attributes the disaster to volcanic activity, it soon becomes clear that something is lurking in the bay -- something that threatens to destroy the city. When the creature emerges from the water and starts making its way towards the heart of Tokyo, the government is forced to scramble to come up with a plan of action and aid the panicked citizens.
Rather than building off the original films, Shin-Godzilla takes place in a universe where kaiju have never surfaced before, so the world is unsure of how to deal with the threat. Unlike the reporters and scientists featured in previous films, the central character is a relatively high-ranking member of the government. Most of the focus is on the government’s efforts to contain this unforeseen disaster, as they wrestle with the parameters of how to respond under the law. The Constitution of Japan does not allow for the country to deploy its military forces except in self-defense, and the bureaucratic red tape makes it hard to mount a proper response. Despite a lot of screen time dedicated to diplomatic and strategic meetings, the movie maintains a rapid pace and keeps the tension high from beginning to end. Godzilla returns as a mysterious and menacing figure and surprises viewers with a new range of abilities. This new film is an exciting treat for long-time fans of the franchise and a dynamic and thought-provoking movie filled with action and suspense for newcomers.
Shin-Godzilla will be shown in select theaters until October 18th.