Jul 18, 2018
Krunchyman (All reviews)
We all know Netflix has an abundance of money, allowing them to undercut the cinema industry and cable television with their bombardment of original content. With over 700 original movies/TV shows being released this year, Netflix has decided that 30 of those will be anime-related. Capturing a significant/growing portion of the population who is dedicated to this Japanese genre of entertainment. That being said, however, the sudden influx of new anime content doesn’t necessarily mean we, as the public, will be receiving a quality product, as it seems that the Americanization of anime has — unfortunately — become a trend.

If this were a 2005 PS2 game, I’m sure it would be an exhilarating experience with plenty of action filled fun; but as a movie, it just feels like a bungling stew of machismo, and misplaced human rage. Rather than formulating unique battle plans to defeat the “unstoppable” Godzilla, they have the aid of dues ex Machina (i.e. the nano-metal) to solve all of their problems. Combine this with full-tilt, reckless action sequences, and you’re on your way toward imitating a Michael Bay film. Because thinking of a way to stop Godzilla’s reign of terror with human technology is too burdensome, even though Hideaki Anno (director of Shin Godzilla) did so a mere two years prior. In addition, while the crew acknowledges the events that lead to Godzilla’s conception — that being, human pollution and the detonation of nuclear bombs — they seem to lack contrition for their role in his eventual birth. In their ignorance, they label him as an “evil” creature that must be annihilated, rather than evaluating their own mistakes as a species, and determining how they must remedy the “evil” within themselves. This harkens to a person who pops pimples on their face, without acknowledging the actions that led to those unsightly clogged pores from manifesting in the first place (i.e. bad diet, stress, over-washing your face).

The animation is, in a word: Fremdschämen. A German term which roughly translates into, “being ashamed for somebody else who is behaving in an embarrassing way.” I cannot think of a better word to describe my feelings when watching the animation for this movie. There were moments in which characters appeared to be moving in mechanical ways, resembling the gestures of a stiff action figure. Godzilla, whiling looking like a roided-out super athlete, also had the appearance of a wrinkly, geriatric dinosaur (similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is “German-ish”). GEMBA/Millepensee animation (the studios behind Berserk 2016) are probably releasing a collective sigh of relief, saying: “at least there’s another animation studio as bad as ours.”

It was evident from the outset that the animation studio wanted to produce a high paced action movie, but why wait until the final 30 minutes for Godzilla to randomly show up to do so. We already established that this film has very little to say from a narrative level, so why pretend otherwise? If the end goal is to neglect characterization and an engaging story, then just follow in the steps of Gurren Lagann and embrace full-throttled mayhem. At least, in that sense, it would have been a semi-entertaining movie. Instead, we receive a mentally constipated crew of soldiers who muddle around in anger until the MC (Godzilla) makes his appearance.