GODZILLA MINUS ONE is coming exclusively to cinemas, IMAX and 4DX screens across the United Kingdom and Ireland from 15th December 2023. You can find out where Godzilla is heading over at godzillafilm.co.uk.
The worst despair in the series’ history strikes Japan! After the war, Japan has been reduced to zero. Godzilla appears and plunges the country into a negative state. The most desperate situation in the history of Japan. Who? And how? Will Japan stand up to it?
Godzilla Minus One sees a return to the basic formula that has allowed the colossal kaiju to thrive since 1954. Well, that’s how it appeared from the trailers. In reality, this newest installment in Toho’s franchise elevates the King of the monsters to new heights as it offers a heartfelt, compassionate and conscious story on post-war trauma and PTSD, while also delivering some of the best Godzilla action we’ve seen in years. Godzilla Minus One is so perfectly balanced that it ceases to exist as just a monster movie. It evolves into something far more complex, ripe with meaning, gravity and emotion.
When the cast aren’t dealing with the giant nuclear monster at their doorstep, they’re busy surviving day-to-day life following the war. What’s fascinating about this story is that it deals with the physical impact of the war, as well as Japan’s shortcomings during the war, including attitudes towards kamikaze pilots. But it’s not all bleak and hopeless, from the ashes of war comes a community hardened by experience. Homes are rebuilt and life returns to some form of normality. It blossoms into something quite beautiful, and it is wonderful to watch. This element of the film allows us to truly understand the main characters and their unique circumstances.
While Godzilla is indeed the highlight of this movie, Minus One would be nothing without its oustanding cast, which is incredibly surprising when you consider human characters tend to derail monster movies. Ryunosuke Kamiki delivers a masterful performance as pilot Kōichi Shikishima that is so raw and visceral in its approach to survivor’s guilt. Noriko Ōishi, brilliantly played by Minami Hamabe, becomes an emotional compass, always guiding Kōichi back to reality. What starts as a convienent living arrangement for the sake of little Akiko, soon develops into an endearing and strong partnership that could survive any obstacle. The entire cast is absolutely brilliant, from the clever bookish weapons specialist Kenji Noda (Hidetaka Yoshioka), to the fun but stern Yoji Akitsu (Kuranosuke Sasaki). However, it’s Kōichi and Noriko who steal the show with their warm bond built entirely on a unique shared experience.
This version of Godzilla is arguably one of the most violent and brutal interpretations we’ve seen, and this film monopolises on that without a second thought. Not only is his overall design and presence a perfect continuation of that iconic look, it’s also incredibly chilling. Shin Godzilla‘s design and powers were outstanding due to their uniqueness, but Minus One hones in on the fear factor. Whenever Godzilla appears, it’s just carnage. You can feel the weight of every step and the ruin Godzilla brings with devastating ease. In a twisted way, the chaos and carnage is mesmerising. It looks amazing. Considering the budget of this movie, it’s genuinely baffling just how good it looks on the big screen.
Now, everyone loves to rave about the atomic breath in Shin Godzilla, and it’s impossible to deny its awesome power and destructive capacity, but there is something so satisfying and even godly about this new atomic breath. The first time it’s used… Peak cinema. The creative build up, the stunning visuals, and just the execution make for an entirely unforgettable sequence that will definitely stay with those hardcore Godzilla fans for a long time.
It wouldn’t be a proper review without looking at the soundtrack, and Naoki Satō’s score is both evocative and epic. The use of Godzilla’s original theme is utter genius and a definite highlight, but this soundtracks is so much more. The entire score truly emphasises that chaotic energy, while building on the tense atmosphere of Godzilla’s arrival. There’s even a holy vibe; hauntingly angelic, that captures the god-like presence of Godzilla. In terms of the soundtrack, Godzilla Minus One has one of the best because it utilises the familiar, and introduces something completely fresh.
Godzilla Minus One is a gigantic triumph that encapsulates Godzilla’s legacy beautifully, while also offering a very human & sincere story. With gobsmacking visuals that exceed some of the effects we’ve seen this year, Godzilla makes his return in the biggest and best way possible. This film is the true epitome of a blockbuster. Not only is Minus One a perfect monster movie, it’s also a fantastic film that has plenty to offer besides destruction.
Don’t forget to check out the action-packed trailer below:
Will you be watching Godzilla Minus One when it arrives on the big screen? Let us know in the comments.