Godzilla Minus One Focuses on One Important Aspect That Most ‘Godzilla’ Movies Have Missed Out Including the Bryan Cranston Starrer

Of the three recent versions of the Kaiju, this film takes the character back to basics, and is able to examine the horrors it represents more openly

Godzilla Minus One Focuses on One Important Aspect That Most ‘Godzilla’ Movies Have Missed Out Including the Bryan Cranston Starrer

SUMMARY

  • Toho's Godzilla Minus One responds to a common criticism of the MonsterVerse cinema.
  • Apart from incredible action, the movie offers genuine depth and complexity in its human characters.
  • With the Warner Brothers also considering a Godzilla movie, the studio might be well-advised to take inspiration from Godzilla Minus One.
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Kaiju films are experiencing a new golden age in Hollywood. The MonsterVerse is one of the only franchises still churning out lucrative theatrical films. More and more studios are taking a chance at producing giant monster films. The trend is more prevalent in the East, and Godzilla Minus One, the latest Godzilla offering from Toho, showed up its American counterparts by doing one thing right.

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Godzilla Minus One stuns critics
Godzilla Minus One

A common criticism in films that revolve around giant monsters is that the human characters in the story end up feeling flat and not interesting. The defense is always that human characters don’t stand a chance against a giant monster stomping all over the city, but films like Pacific Rim proved that it can be done. So, Godzilla Minus One went ahead and improved on that formula.

Also Read: “This is what a Godzilla movie should be like”: Original Godzilla Director Gareth Edwards Bows to Godzilla Minus One

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Godzilla Minus One goes back to basics

The Original Big Radioactive Lizard
The Original Big Radioactive Lizard

Godzilla Minus One goes back to World War II, setting the scene for the film right after Japan lost the war and surrendered to the Allied nations. However, to understand what makes the human characters in the film so interesting, some context needs to be set for where the film gets it from. The original film was about the horrors that the country faced after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, followed by the Japanese surrender to the Allied forces. Under American occupation, discussions about the horrors were prohibited, making  Godzilla a clever way to talk about it. A lot of nuclear anxieties were dressed as Godzilla, as it stomped through Japan.

Jumping to 2023, the characters in the film, so many years after the fact, can talk about the horrors more openly, and explore how it affected them through the perfect allegory: Godzilla. Unlike the Godzilla film that came out before this one, Shin Godzilla, the film was very much about people reacting to a large-scale event, that they find themselves helpless against. The Godzilla in Shin Godzilla prompted a response from the government, that led to the exposure of the many bureaucratic flaws in the system. Godzilla Minus One is not about that. Godzilla Minus One puts its characters in a situation where the government, the military, and the overall society are utterly defeated by something much larger than itself.

Sort of on the nose isn’t it?

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Also Read: “A monster and a god”: 5 Ways in Which WB’s Godzilla is Vastly Different Than Toho’s Godzilla

Can Warner Brothers top this Godzilla?

WB’s Godzilla

Warner Brothers has also dwelled on the allegory of Godzilla. In Godzilla King of the Monsters, the entire sequence with Dr. Serizawa and the bomb reviving Godzilla touched on the implications of the allegory. While almost too shallow for a representation of Godzilla, the American Godzilla is not about the effect of an unimaginably large defeat affecting the nation. The American Godzilla is about spectacle, about how small human beings are on the large scale of things, supposedly speaking to the climate anxiety that is taking over conversations in the West. The film does what it tries to do well, albeit leaving its human characters (almost as if it were deliberate) in the dust.

Basically, just because Godzilla Minus One does it better, does not mean it diminishes Shin Godzilla or Legendary Godzilla. These are separate films, talking about separate issues, and focusing on separate aspects of the same character. If Legendary’s Godzilla fails to focus on the human element, it does not make it a bad kaiju film. After all, the focus has to be on the kaiju, which most versions of the IP do right. And as long as that is set, the franchises can continue their unaltered streak of great films.

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Also Read: Marvel Faction Frustrated Over The Marvels Flop While Napoleon and Godzilla Soar High in the Box Office

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Written by Anuraag Chatterjee

Articles Published: 502

Anuraag Chatterjee, Web Content Writer
With a passion for writing fiction and non fiction content, Anuraag is a Media Science graduate with 2 year's experience with Marketing and Content, with 3 published poetry anthologies. Anuraag holds a Bacherlor's degree in Arts with a focus on Communication and Media Studies.