Friday, November 9, 2018

Shin Godzilla, Bureaucratic Red Tape and a Monster

After a much maligned Godzilla film from the U.S. underwhelmed audiences, Japan countered. Hence 2016's "Shin Godzilla." In one grouchy monster film, Japan will show that they are very similar to America and also resent America...perhaps because they have become us. Yeah, a horrific creature will kill thousands on its trek toward Tokyo, but our film today has a different villain...government bureaucracy. The most ghastly wisdom put forth in this epic is spoken by an aide in the Japanese cabinet, "...don't knock red is the foundation of democracy."
Our hero, a lowly aide in Japan's government, Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa), doesn't understand this whole bureaucratic red tape thing. His mentors and bosses are amused by his ideology. Then a monster rises out of the harbor. It is a stupid looking thing, not even more menacing than Barney. Still, its size alone is fatal for many Japanese as it crawls toward Tokyo. The Japanese response? Evaluate public opinion...gauge the environmental regulations and how they may limit a response...examine treaties and the constitution to see if a response is allowed. Don't laugh...the Japanese constitution says the military can only be used against an armed attack...the creature isn't armed. I'm not kidding. The hesitation allows this silly dinosaur to grow into a ferocious 200 foot tall Godzilla.
Now Godzilla is no longer silly and cute. Enter the American State Department babe, Kayoko Ann Patterson (Satomi Ishihara)...and she is a babe. She will coordinate the U.S. assistance to Japan. Kayoko's priority? She wants to be U.S. president. You guessed it...with U.N. approval, the U.S. coerces Japan to allow them to nuke Godzilla. Godzilla has evolved into an organic nuclear weapon and incinerates half of Tokyo with one breath. But wait! Yaguchi assembles non-governmental nerds and heretics to figure out where Godzilla came from, what its made of...and how to kill it. With world governments bent on Godzilla's nuclear annihilation, Yaguchi will have to become a master manipulator and a herder of cats to save Japan and get his rag-tag band of nerds to figure out a way to kill the monster.
Will the idealist Yaguchi be able to kill Godzilla before an American submarine delivers the third nuclear strike against Japan? Will the sultry Kayoko emerge from the carnage with her political future intact? Is the government really the villain here? After all, red tape has benefits in protecting us all from lunatic legislation. it fair to say that our government Interesting, moody, and pessimistic, "Shin Godzilla" delivers a lot to think about. Libertarians and anarchists may see this as a great statement against government...even though this film merely implores us all to take a good look at what stares back at us in the mirror.

1 comment:

  1. The Japanese and American alliance, always a tenuous thread, was Pearl Harbor staged and is Japan releasing their pent up anger with giant lizards?