Godzilla Minus One
Dir: Takashi Yamazaki.
Japan, 2023, 124 min.
Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada.
In Japanese with English subtitles.
“Koichi, a former kamikaze pilot who survived only because he abandoned his mission, feels shame for his cowardice… Noriko is his nontraditional partner… Together, they live in bombed-out Tokyo… with the baby girl Noriko has taken in after promising a dying woman she would take care of her child. There’s not enough work, the roof leaks… Oh, and there’s a 200-foot-tall lizard terrorizing the country… Filmmaker Takashi Yamazaki mixes the tried-and-true beats of a modern blockbuster with the emotional and political tone of the original film. The result is nothing short of magical: a feast for the eyes, an entertaining epic in every sense of the word… Here, it’s up to ordinary people, not other monsters, to stop Godzilla. This ups the emotional stakes… That’s not to say the spectacle isn’t also effective. The scenes of urban devastation are expertly choreographed and gorgeously shot… The final act features some of the best blockbuster filmmaking in years… Top Gun: Maverick showed us there’s still an audience for movies that combine concise and creative action with emotionally resonant characters. Godzilla Minus One is another reminder – and quite possibly the better movie of the two.” —Lucas Trevor, The Washington Post
“A certified riot… Deftly political while still being a thrilling piece of entertainment, Godzilla Minus One is a true cinematic experience of the highest, largest order.” —Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail