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Director, Hideaki Anno, breaks away from his background in animation and teams up with renowned storyboard and effects artist Shinji Higuchi to take a smart crack at the decades spanning franchise of Godzilla. Shin Godzilla not only holds a realistic lens to the mutated beast itself, but also to the over arching idea of a city under siege by Kaiju. The story puts Godzilla on the sidelines, holding off from even naming it until about half way through. It focuses more intently on the bureaucratic system of Tokyo and Japan as a whole, with a delicate touch of dark satirical comedy. Higuchi makes his audience a fly on the wall of many a conference room filled with teams of scientists, politicians and world leaders. Every large cast scene, full of quick, witty and natural dialogue, plays true like a real world natural disaster scenario. This makes the ironic jump cuts to the nuclear slime dripping monstrosity demolishing the city scape outside all the more powerful. Like its less monster focused structure, Shin Godzilla's Kaiju is also unique to the rest of the franchise. Higuchi takes Godzilla's nuclear waste filled past to heart by scalping it of any "king-of-the-monsters" nobility it had boasted in previous run-ins with Hollywood. Bulging, glazed over eyes staring blankly, snaggletoothed jaws swinging agape and dripping with nuclear slime - Shin Godzilla's take on the king is uniquely terrifying in its shear unnaturalness as well as its hopelessly indiscriminate reign of devastation. Anno and Higuchi breathe new life into a quickly staling franchise and set a bar of artistic cinema that the following blockbusters will be unable to reach.




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