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The student news site of Fraser High School

The Flash

The student news site of Fraser High School

The Flash

Godzilla Minus One: Review


Godzilla: Minus One, Directed by Takashi Yamazaki, is the latest Japanese monster movie. But let it be known this movie differed greatly from other titles under the same IP. Unlike other Godzilla movies that are mostly made as summer blockbusters to show off new CGI and sell toys, this movie was a grounded war film about family and love. This story wasn’t about how many buildings Godzilla would destroy or what monsters he would fight, it was about human loss/love and living life. This movie does a great job of bringing Godzilla back to his original intention as a metaphor for the devastation caused by the atomic bomb and subsequently the war that led up to it. 


This movie has a very human-focused story. And it builds it very well. It follows a young soldier Shikishima, who, when fleeing from his position in the war, witnesses Godzilla’s first massacre and is powerless to stop it. When he returns home, he is plagued with survivor’s guilt and deprived of purpose until he stumbles into a woman (Noriko) and a baby (Akiko). While this is not her child, Noriko is devoted to taking care of it, and after following Shikishima home, so is he. This setup is where the heart of the movie comes in. A family is built from tragedy and these characters are brought together in darkness, but over time they give light and love to each other and build a life. The movie spends a lot of time setting this up, and showing how Shikishima’s PTSD still affects him. This slow-burn approach works so well, because when Godzilla makes his return, we as an audience are so much more scared because we have seen what is at stake and we’ve seen the lives that could be lost. The light that could be once again replaced with darkness.


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Aside from the character writing, which I would say is some of the best we’ve seen this year, there were a few other highlights of this movie. The first for me is the acting. There were so many great performances in this movie that all shined in their own way. But to me Kamiki Ryunosuke’s performance as Shikishima as he struggled with the toll of his survivor guilt. There were many heartbreaking scenes in this movie and all of them hit hard. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that multiple tears will be shed during this movie.


The second and possibly most technically impressive highlight of this film was the CGI. The CGI of Godzilla itself was by far the best we’ve seen in a long time. And it really helped to sell the devastation and destruction caused. But it is also a different design from what we’ve seen with Godzilla before. It is very reminiscent of its original design from the very first Godzilla film back in 1954. This is a very cool decision and it adds a level of nostalgia to the film. However, while the design is very cool, the movements are sometimes a little goofy, as they are imitating those of a stop-motion mechanical puppet.


Overall, I would give this movie a 4 out of 5. It was an emotional story about life and love, with some cool set pieces and big monsters. I would recommend this to anyone just looking for a good movie but don’t forget the tissues. Also, as a note, this movie is completely in Japanese so if you do plan on seeing it beware that it is all in subtitles.

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    Anita RileyDec 15, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    Pretty much lost on plot since I wasn’t close enough to read the subtitles. Thought it was wonderful hope to see it again in theater. As for his movements I wouldn’t expect a monster of his size to be very graceful or athletic. The slow lumbering is reminiscent of classic Godzilla. My son who is autistic loves Godzilla so we own all the movies, toys etc. I agreed with him loved the battleship sequence and especially they showed everyone safe at the end. Hopefully this puts an end to the lizard faux G man. Thank you Toho.