It’s 1945 and Japan has lost World War II. The country now in ruins attempts to bounce back but encounters a ginormous radioactive hiccup — the ascension of a monster known only as “Godzilla.” This is the plot of the newest Japanese Godzilla film, “Godzilla: Minus One.”
Our human story follows Koichi, a kamikaze pilot who abandoned his duties and returned to his home country as a coward. After a chance encounter with a woman and a baby, he takes them in and begins to learn how to live before the demon from his past, Godzilla, returns to attack Japan yet again. With no help from the government, it is up to a group of private citizens to send the monster back to the sea from whence it came.
In the words of Bong Joon-Ho, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” This rings true for this masterpiece. The acting on all parties is excellent and it is one of the most visually striking films I have seen this year, second to “Across the Spider-Verse.” For once, it truly felt like the human part of the film added more drama and interest rather than just going to see the film for the big monster! Compared to the older Godzilla and American films, you really care for these characters and their struggles to overcome adversity.
Now, to talk about the giant monster in the room! Godzilla here is a straight-up villain, not a tragic hero, not a lost creature, but a massive force of nature destroying everything in his wake. He is a dominating force on screen and demands your attention with the destruction he leaves in his wake.
We loved this film, its message about hope and living, and the utter destruction that came in the face of both war and disaster. Even if you eliminated Godzilla from the film, it would still be a fascinating and heart-wrenching story about post-WWII Japan, the film just so happens to have a giant atomic monster causing problems for everyone.
5 *Godzilla roars* out of 5
Guillermo Guzman (he/him/they) is a Texas-based nerd who loves talking about video games, autism, and entertainment. Follow him on Instagram: @boofy_booferson and X: @Dimpy_Tenders.
Zipporah Pruitt, (she/her) is an L.A. homegrown journalist, who covers entertainment and culture. Follow her on X and Instagram: @zippzapps.
Edited by Nykeya Woods