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godzilla minus one

STARRING: minami hamabe, kamiki ryunosuke, hidetaka yoshioka, and yuki yamada


REVIEWER: nick tonkin

Japan is already devastated by the war when a new crisis emerges in the form of a giant monster.

37 films into the Godzilla franchise, writer/director Takashi Yamazaki has helmed one of the series’ best with Godzilla Minus One. Easily more interesting than any of the installments in its recent American counterpart series, Godzilla Minus One blends strong storytelling and great performances with deftly handled action and effective special effects work; the result being a supremely compelling modern Japanese kaiju film.


Japan is struggling to get to its feet following its defeat at the end of World War 2, with trauma and economic hardship a common experience amongst its people. In these conditions, Japan is burdened with the arrival of Godzilla and its desire for destruction. 


A great achievement of Godzilla Minus One is that its story is told through the experience of characters that are actually interesting, with strong performances from talented actors. This gives the audience something to connect and empathise with, without feeling like we are being shortchanged by spending time with human characters rather than Godzilla in its path of destruction.


The effects work in Godzilla Minus One is very impressive, all the more so with the knowledge that the film had a budget of only $15 million. Takashi Yamazak must be even better than Gareth Edwards at creating films with grand scale and striking visuals on modest budgets. Perhaps Disney should start paying attention.


Godzilla Minus One is a supremely compelling modern Japanese kaiju film that entirely shows up its recent American counterparts by blending strong storytelling and acting with thrilling action.

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