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Godzilla Minus One (2023)

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  • Godzilla Minus One (2023)

    At the Cinemark Willowbrook Cinemas, Wayne, New Jersey.


    “So bad” was the review from the young man sitting in front of me, the viewpoint of somebody who came expecting the typical Rodan/Mothra/Gidorah/MechaGodzilla/MUTO/Kong/Smog Monster kaiju beat-down, or something along the lines of Legendary’s Monarch Monsterverse. Godzilla Minus One is nothing like that. It’s a very grave picture, in fact in terms of seriousness and tone it bears legitimate comparison to last summer’s Oppenheimer.

    The Big G himself isn’t even in it much, really, the story is more human. Towards the end of WWll, young pilot Shikishima fakes a plane malfunction to get out of a kamikaze run, a deception quickly uncovered by mechanics on the island he lands on. Later that night he freezes again when Godzilla comes calling, resulting in many deaths. Returning to a ravaged Tokyo he finds his parents dead and the woman next door disgusted with his cowardice, so he agrees to take in pretty war orphan Noriko and a baby she is caring for, providing for them by taking dangerous work clearing mines out of the Philippine Sea just as Godzilla is awakened by U.S. nuclear testing. Just as he and Noriko are falling in love a plan is formed to kill the monster, and, wouldn’t you know it, it involves a kamikaze . . . perhaps a disgraced one looking for redemption.

    Overall this a pretty good picture, if a bit overlong. Technically everything is first rate, the photography and CGI are very well done as is the music, which contains some of Akira Ifukube’s original themes from 1954. As far as the acting, the fellow playing the pilot is terrible but the two female leads are terrific, and actress Minami Hamabe, playing Noriko, is almost Oscar-worthy

    It’s worth seeing if you’re a Godzilla fan who’s OK with a grim movie, as opposed to the usual monster-fest.

    Last edited by Mark Ogden; 11-30-2023, 08:44 PM.