Shin Godzilla

When a massive, gilled monster emerges from the deep and tears through the city, the government scrambles to save its citizens. A rag-tag team of volunteers cuts through a web of red tape to uncover the monster’s weakness and its mysterious ties to a foreign superpower. But time is not on their side – the greatest catastrophe to ever befall the world is about to evolve right before their very eyes.

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Rando Yaguchi : Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary: Hiroki Hasegawa
  • Hideki Akasaka : Special Advisor to the Prime Minister(National Security): Yutaka Takenouchi
  • Kayoko Ann Patterson : US special envoy: Satomi Ishihara
  • Yuseuke Shimura : Secretary of Rando: Kengo Kora
  • Syuichi Izumi : Policy Research Council Vice Chairman: Satoru Matsuo
  • Hiromi Ogashira : Ministry of the Environment Nature / Wildlife Division Deputy Director: Mikako Ichikawa
  • Ryu Yasuda : Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Research / Promotion Bureau Director: Issey Takahashi
  • Fumiya Mori : Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare / Research and Development Division Director: Kanji Tsuda
  • Kunio Hazama : Jouhoku University Associate professor: Shinya Tsukamoto
  • Tachikawa : Agency for Natural Resources and Energy / Electricity and Gas Industry Department Director: Toru Nomaguchi
  • Tatsuya Negisi : Nuclear Regulatory Agency / Monitoring information Division Director: Daisuke Kuroda
  • Seiji Ookouchi : Prime minister: Ren Osugi
  • Reiko Hanamori : Minister of Defense: Kimiko Yo
  • Ryuta Azuma : Chief Cabinet Secretary: Akira Emoto
  • Yusuke Satomi : Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Sei Hiraizumi
  • Sekiguchi : Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: Toru Tezuka
  • Yanagihara : Minister of land, infrastructure and transportation: Ken’ichi Yajima
  • Kouno : Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications: Akira Hamada
  • Kanai : Minister of State for Special Missions: Ikuji Nakamura
  • Kooriyama : Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management: Tetsu Watanabe
  • Masao Zaizen : JSDF Chief of Staff, Joint Staff Office: Jun Kunimura
  • Yajima : JSDF Vice Chief of Staff, Joint Staff Office: Shingo Tsurumi
  • JSDF Eastern Army Chief of Staff: Jun Hashimoto
  • Saigo : Operation “TaBa” Combat leader: Pierre Taki
  • 1st. tank squadron captain: Takumi Saitoh
  • 2nd. tank squadron captain: KREVA
  • Kozuka : Governor of Tokyo: Ken Mitsuishi
  • Katayama : Minister for Foreign Affairs ad interim: Kyûsaku Shimada
  • Tahara : Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications / Disaster Management Division: Taro Suwa
  • Kazekoshi : Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister: Yuu Kamio
  • Sawaguchi : Police Agency Commissioner General’s Secretariat: Arata Furuta
  • National Police Agency Criminal Investigation Bureau Director-General: Morooka Moro
  • National Police Agency in charge of crisis management officer: Kôsei Katô
  • Fire and Disaster Management Agency in charge of crisis management officer: Shohei Abe
  • Firefighters of Tokyo Fire Department: Keisuke Koide
  • Prime Minister’s Office staff: Hairi Katagiri
  • Hayafune : Free Journalist: Suzuki Matsuo
  • Journalist: Takahiro Miura
  • Journalist: Yohta Kawase
  • Evacuees: Ren Mori
  • Evacuees Aqua tunnel: Atsuko Maeda
  • Biology professor: Kazuo Hara
  • Ancient biologist: Isshin Inudo
  • Marine biologist: Akira Ogata
  • Bus Driver: Hideaki Anno
  • Dr.Goro Maki: Kihachi Okamoto
  • Godzilla: Mansai Nomura
  • …: Mayumi Ogawa
  • …: Katsuhiko Yokomitsu
  • …: Yusuke Sugiyama
  • Akihisa Yanagi: Shô Oyamada

Film Crew:

  • Character Designer: Takayuki Takeya
  • Original Music Composer: Shiro Sagisu
  • Visual Effects: Takashi Yamazaki
  • Storyboard: Mahiro Maeda
  • Storyboard: Hideaki Anno
  • Storyboard: Kazuya Tsurumaki
  • Storyboard: Masayuki
  • Sound Effects: Toru Noguchi
  • Visual Effects Director: Shinji Higuchi
  • Producer: Kazutoshi Wadakura
  • Music: Akira Ifukube
  • Visual Effects Art Director: Toshio Miike
  • Production Design: Yūji Hayashida
  • Visual Effects Producer: Tetsuo Ohya
  • Producer: Minami Ichikawa
  • Storyboard: Ikki Todoroki
  • Casting: Tsuyoshi Sugino
  • Producer: Yoshihiro Satô
  • Second Unit Director: Katsuro Onoue
  • Visual Effects Supervisor: Atsuki Sato
  • Sound Mixer: Haru Yamada
  • Producer: Taichi Ueda
  • Assistant Director: Kimiyoshi Adachi
  • Art Direction: Eri Sakushima
  • Executive Producer: Akihiro Yamauchi
  • Director of Photography: Kosuke Yamada
  • Line Producer: Kensei Mori
  • Producer: Masaya Shibusawa
  • Set Decoration: Toshiaki Takahashi
  • Special Effects: Kazuaki Sekiyama
  • Second Unit Cinematographer: Keizô Suzuki
  • Musician: Chris Laurence
  • Second Unit Director: Yusuke Ishida
  • Sound Recordist: Jun Nakamura
  • Set Decoration: Akira Sakamoto
  • Second Unit Cinematographer: Keiichi Sakurai
  • Art Designer: Masato Inatsuki
  • Makeup & Hair: Rie Suda

Movie Reviews:

  • Frank Ochieng: One might nostalgically recall the days back when the cheesy yet infectious Japanese monster movies were such a magnificent draw during those hazy Saturday afternoons showcasing the double creature feature matinees that aired weekly on television. We were considered very lucky if we had Mothera battle Gamera in one showing followed up by experiencing the sheer thrill of watching Rodan take on his latest ferocious foe as well. However, as well-known as these mentioned Far East big screen beasts were in all their glorious rage and colorful destruction nobody was as legendary or instrumental in seriously wreaking havoc on vulnerable Japanese soil both heroically or horrendously than our heralded King of Carnage in the celebrated _Godzilla_.

    The famed and humongous rumble-and-tumble reptile makes a grand return courtesy of Toho Studios reviving the catastrophic critter in writer/co-director Hideaki Anno’s and Shinji Higuchi’s monster mash offering **Godzilla Resurgence** (a.k.a.”Shin Godzilla”). Interestingly, the last _Godzilla_ flick that was released by Toho Studios was more than a decade ago in 2004. Naturally, Japanese audiences were privileged to the exploitative antics of the favorable large lizard when **Godzilla Resurgence** premiered earlier this year.

    Thankfully, Anno’s and Higuchi’s spry creature concoction is now showing up in limited release in other countries as _Godzilla_ dusts off his combative cobwebs from yesteryear and makes a contemporary return to the cinematic psyches for baby-boomers looking to revive their childhood memories of the spike-toothed rampaging rogue doing what he does best: stomping through the endangered streets of Japan in the name of high-wire popcorn entertainment. In any event, there is a willing welcome wagon to embrace this familiar and feisty monstrous menace with robust enjoyment. There have been previous _Godzilla_ editions that were not necessarily received with the pat-on-the-back reception (yes Roland Emmerich–we are referencing your disastrous take on 1998’s _Godzilla_). Still, **Godzilla Resurgence** accomplishes the impossible as it stays close to its humble 1954 roots while managing to sprinkle some fresh impishness within its clever manufactured mayhem.

    The screening experience of viewing the majestic monster _Godzilla_ is stunning and surreal because the film’s handlers create the terrorizing tension and torture of a full-scale predator crashing his way into the miniature-sized obstacles (people, buildings, bridges, power lines, etc.) with demolished durability. The physical details on the _Godzilla_ monster are hideously wondrous and every bloody drool from the creature’s jagged mouth and ominous scaly skin is profoundly sinister. The thought of Godzilla’s two-ton tail pouncing and waving with destructive defiance generates the additional mystique of this Asia-based destroyer.

    For those not quite informed about the backstory of the _Godzilla_ mythology it is quite simple: a classical creature was born/created back in 1954 at Toho Studios where filmmaker Ishiro Honda presented a monster flick that would go on to endure as a cult favorite in Japanese cinema and elsewhere around the world for the next six decades. Sure, the various _Godzilla_ installments (not including the derivative American versions) were saddled in inspired cheesiness (you got to love the laughable “man-in-the-monster-suit” cheapened special effects) with toy model sets serving as a deteriorating Japanese background to _Godzilla’s_ cinematic wrath. Nevertheless, the clear message was received thoughtfully and philosophically–_Godzilla_ and his creepy contemporaries was conceived and symbolic of that country’s disillusionment with its atomic bombing past. As a result, the Japanese-based beasts were reflective of the man-made devastation that haunted a targeted region of the world that knew annihilation and humiliation. _Godzilla_ made for some escapist thrills and chills for Japanese movie audiences in the heyday of the 50’s and 60’s but Honda’s alarming predatory pest would also resonate as a freakish catalyst for the country’s past and present turmoil for political, societal and technological survival. Hence, _Godzilla_ is a representative (and product) of a historical nuclear blast that remains as an immense ugly chapter in humanity.

    **Godzilla Resurgence** (_Shin Godzilla_) introduces good ole Godzilla as a mystery wrecking machine unbeknownst to the Tokyo city officials that have no clue in how to contain the unknown boisterous, beastly intruder as he storms through Japan like a loose sledgehammer through a light bulb factory. Once the return of the ravenous Godzilla had been identified the big brass now has to figure out how to eradicate the enormous fiendish phenomenon. Do they nuke the corrosive creature without the dire consequences of sacrificing its jeopardized citizens in the territory?

    As the Japanese government agonizes over what should be done with Godzilla’s dubious presence as he methodically smashes everything in his wicked path the cynicism grows moment by moment. Specifically, why is Godzilla’s tumultuous existence impacting their way of life? Is the creature’s overstayed welcome some sort of plot from the rest of the world to dump unrest and debauchery on their sacred grounds? Better yet can the foreign superpowers such as the United States, China or Russia collaborate to help terminate the mighty monster? Will Godzilla disturb global concerns and if so how will the militaristic mindset play out in Japan’s beleaguered backyard?

    **Godzilla Resurgence** aims to be more than just a typical giant monster movie mired in splashy CGI special effects and engulfed explosions. Anno (“Evangelion”) and Higuchi (“Attack on Titan”) actually serve up a sophisticated and thought-provoking creature caper that digs underneath the throwaway exploitation surface. The tongue-in-cheek nostalgia is firmly maintained and the moviegoers are treated to their share of Godzilla’s manic mischievousness. Importantly, Anno and Higuchi amp up their brand of a disguised political potboiler in the form of a sci-fi monster B movie that sufficiently labors at mirroring the current-day chaos and conflicts that bombard a modern-day Japan (or any inserted nation for that matter). Whether spotlighting international trust/distrust or pinpointing kaiju (meaning “big, brutal monsters”) terrorism as an allegory for Japan’s temporary unseen but inevitable national fallout caused by an impenetrable nature disaster it is quite revealing that **Godzilla Resurgence** delves beyond its cartoonish ruination.

    Whatever interpretation that one derives from **Godzilla Resurgence** the verdict is undeniably sound that Toho Studios delivers a lively and message-driven platform about uncontrollable forces and critical decisions that befall an ambivalent country undergoing in-house scrutiny. To put it in layman’s terms: **Godzilla Resurgence** is a surprisingly well-done despite its sometimes campy makeup. Surely **Resurgence** is solid enough to uphold the G-man’s beloved legacy in the kaiju genre.

    **Godzilla Resurgence (Shin Godzilla)** 2016

    Toho Studios

    2 hrs.

    Starring: Hiroki Hasegawa, Satomi Ishihara, Yutaka Takenouchi, Ren Ohsugi, Akira Emoto

    Directed by: Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi

    Written by: Hideaki Anno

    MPAA Rating: NR

    Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy/Action & Adventure/Drama

    Critic’s rating: *** stars (out of 4 stars)

    (c) **Frank Ochieng** 2016

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