In the current American version of Godzilla, as well as dozens of Godzilla movies in the Toho series, we’ve seen everyone’s favorite atomic lizard battling with countless other giant beasties, but in Shin Godzilla he is the only Kaijū (from the Japanese “strange beast”) terrorizing the populace of Japan. This harkens back to the original Gojira where that monster was reflection of the horror and destruction surrounding the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while in this version the filmmakers are taking inspiration from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, but in both cases the monster is not here to help mankind, not even accidentally as was often the case.
No kid in short pants will be screaming for this guy’s help.Any viewer unfamiliar with Godzilla films should be forewarned that the Big Guy is not going to have a whole lot of screen time, that's never been the case in all thirty of Toho’s productions, but when he does make in appearance it’s usually well worth the wait. The bulk of the movie’s running time will be spent with a cast of various characters and how they deal with the current crisis. In the case of Shin Godzilla we deal almost exclusively with Government officials and the experts they’ve called in to help defeat the menace, and when watching this film I couldn’t help but admire the writers in putting together a script where you can completely believe this is how a major Government would handle the situation.
The movie opens with a massive eruption in Tokyo Bay and the subsequent flooding and collapsing of the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line. The Prime Minister (Ren Oshugi) and his Cabinet scramble to figure out what exactly caused the disaster, but when Deputy Chief Rando Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa) suggests the cause could be from a living creature he is quickly shot down. The first act of the film is basically people stating what they believe to be the case and then to be proven wrong almost immediately. Here is my paraphrasing of this section of the movie:
Yaguchi: “It’s a living creature, there's even footage of it online.”
Prime Minister: “Preposterous!”
*Massive tail rises out of Tokyo Bay*
Prime Minister: “Dammit!”
Scientist: “Nothing that big good walk on land.”
*The creature proceeds to stomp across Japan*
Scientist: “Crap on a cracker!”