'Godzilla Minus One': Monster Movie That's All Heart

I’m not a fan of Godzilla movies. I mean, I like them well enough, but I won’t go out of my way to watch them.

So I was really surprised to find how much I liked Godzilla Minus One, which I caught on Netflix. This isn’t yet another kaiju (giant monster) movie in which the creature wrecks Tokyo and terrorizes its residents. Instead, it’s character-driven, and really tugs at your heartstrings. You’re so much more invested in a flick if you actually care that the people in it survive.

The movie was produced and released in 2023 by Japan’s Toho Studios. It has found worldwide success, reportedly raking in $116 million compared to an estimated budget of $10 - $12 million. It is Toho’s highest-grossing Godzilla movie ever, at a time when American movies are sluggish at the box office.

Godzilla Minus One takes place shortly after World War II, when Japan is reeling from its ignominious defeat by the Allied Forces. The main character is Koichi Shikishima, a former kamikaze pilot who must overcome his demons to save Japan and his fellow citizens.

The supporting cast is memorable as well, and very likable. The special effects are good, the scenes of destruction amazing.

A thumbs-up from me!


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