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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

Humanism and Redemption: A Look at Godzilla Minus One (2023)

We laughed, we cried, we loved Godzilla Minus One. After spending many, many months watching almost every Godzilla film in existence (which is 38 films) to prepare for our four part History of Kaiju series earlier this year, we of course had to see Godzilla Minus One in Imax. 

I did not have a ton of background on this film before going into it, but I will say right off the bat, I am in love with it. 

A woman looks at Godzilla from a window

In a lot of ways, Godzilla Minus One is a return to the original Godzilla film from 1954. The story is set in Post War Japan, and hammers home the cultural impact of World War II on Japan. It offers a perspective that is not often represented on Western screens.

The film is about honor, grief, war, comradery, love and loss, all while everyone is trying to escape from a giant dinosaur-like creature. There are strong themes of regret and redemption here too. 

Godzilla roars

Godzilla Minus One balances all of this with thrilling action. At times, the Imax experience was almost too overwhelming for me. Godzilla is scary, loud and seemingly impossible to kill. Godzilla Minus One is the first Toho Godzilla film in seven years (a lifetime in the Godzilla universe). 

The film was directed by Takashi Yamazaki, who has a keen eye for visual effects. 

Godzilla tramples people

Godzilla Minus One is a heartbreaking look at a tragic time in Japan’s history, coupled with a level of humanism that we rarely see in a Kaiju film.

It sits somewhere between action film, disaster film and drama. It’s a visually stunning film to see in theaters, and experience the layers up close and personally.

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