GODZILLA MINUS ONE (ゴジラ-1.0マイナスワン) (NETFLIX) (2023)

: In postwar Japan, a new terror rises; Godzilla. Will the devastated people be able to survive... let alone fight back? 


Godzilla Minus One finally comes to the small screen though it’s a huge pity consider it won the best visual effects awards at the 96th Academy Awards. And to start it off, the effects certainly matches or surpassed their Hollywood counterparts. Ironically, the effects were done by a small group of 35 artists given the epic scale, effects heavy of it.

To top it off, it’s one hell of a movie whereby the human characters finally deserve to be in the same league as Godzilla as compare to Godzilla Vs King Kong or even Transformers whereby the humans are almost negligible. Simply put for the first time, we care as much for Godzilla and the humans.

The story begins with a kamikaze pilot, Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) who first encountered the monster on Odo Island. After the end of World War II, Shikishima returns to the mainland and lives with a woman, Noriko (Minami Hamabe) and a child she adopted. Times were tough and everything seems normal on the surface for Shikishima but in fact he still suffered from PTSD presuming from survivor’s guilt.

Naturally, Godzilla appears again and this time it’s headed to the mainland for more destruction duties. Shikishima then teams up with a technical officer/scientist, Noda (Hidetaka Yoshioka), Akitsu (Kuranosuke Sasaki), a Captain and a young crewman, Mizushima (Yuki Yamada) to take on Godzilla through science, wits and bravery.

Credit must go to director and writer Takashi Yamazaki for breathing (pardon the pun) new life to a flagging property. Honestly, who cares about Shin Godzilla and the talky bureaucrats? Godzilla Minus One is by far a worthy tale on post-war Japan, the atrocities of it and many other subtle chastise of the then government. By doing so, Yamazaki injects flesh and blood into the main characters making them believable and emotionally rich for audiences to relate to especially Shikishima and other colourful characters liked Noda and a talented air force mechanic, Tachibana (Munetaka Aoki).

Despite the character building, Yamazaki never forgets about the stomping giant lizard which is always lurking somewhere in the ocean waiting to leave cities in ruin and thousands dead. The scale of it is massive and even if you know the destructions, thrilling set pieces are mostly CG rendered, for some strange reason, it’s genuinely meaner and exhilarating in an era in which visual effects are almost taken for granted.

There is a reason why Godzilla Minus One is so popular and sought after. Now we know. Believe us, the hype is real. If there is only one Godzilla movie to watch, this is the one. So much heart, so much kaiju action.  


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Sci-Fi/Action
Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Kuranosuke Sasaki, Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Sakura Ando  
Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Rating: PG13
Year Made: 2023



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 2 hrs 4 mins