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‘Shin Godzilla’ Critical Roundup: The King of Monsters Reclaims His Throne, But Only Just

This new reboot is the highest-grossing film of 2016 in Japan.

Godzilla: Resurgence

“Godzilla: Resurgence”

Toho

After making beaucoup bucks in its native Japan, where it’s the highest-grossing film of 2016, “Shin Godzilla” (AKA “Godzilla Resurgence”) has made its way across the Pacific and is now making landfall in America. The reviews so far are mostly favorable: Joe Leydon, writing for Variety, says that the king of monsters “gets a largely satisfying reboot in ‘Shin Godzilla,’ a surprisingly clever monster mash best described as the ‘Batman Begins’ of Zilla Thrillers.”

READ MORE: ‘Godzilla: Resurgence’ Trailer: The Beloved Monster Returns In Toho’s First Godzilla Movie In A Decade

Over at The Wrap, Alonso Duralde is similarly favorable in his review:

“‘Shin Godzilla’ feels very much like a post-9/11 movie that ventures into nearly ‘Veep’-ian levels of political satire…And when Godzilla does his thing, it’s always terrifying — the destruction here is chillingly realistic and far removed from the crumbling cardboard skyscrapers of yore.”

Offering a more mixed take is The New York Times’ Neil Genzlinger:

“The film is at its best when it’s in parody mode, though it keeps that card too close to the vest for much of its two-hour length. The humor, not the monster, is what you’re left wanting more of.”

READ MORE: Gareth Edwards Exits ‘Godzilla 2,’ Director Wants To Pursue Smaller Projects

While acknowledging that “Shin Godzilla” doesn’t exactly break the mold, Elizabeth Kerr still praises the film overall in The Hollywood Reporter:

“The mother of all allegorical monsters takes on new meaning in a talky, vaguely nationalistic reboot that slips on like a comfortable sweater, even if it’s a sweater with some holes in it.”

In his 2.5 star review (out of a possible 5), Edward Douglas of The New York Daily News argues that this new reboot gets in its own way:

“Unfortunately, ‘Shin Godzilla’ tends to get bogged down in those political discussions after Gojira’s rampage takes out Japan’s prime minister, and everyone else is vying to take over. Even the U.S. military gets involved with trying to stop a monster we don’t actually see for large portions of the movie.”

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