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Netflix surprise-dropped Godzilla Minus One and we’re ecstatic — but not all fans are thrilled

Netflix surprise-dropped Godzilla Minus One and we’re ecstatic — but not all fans are thrilled
The year is 2023. Despite being on the decline, superhero movie franchising has irreparably permeated the fabric of Hollywood. This has marked a precarious time for Godzilla fanboys, whose previous instalments have basically turned into another superhero team-up movie. The stage has been set for Chris Pratt to inevitably assume another monster-wrangling, constant-smouldering, protagonist in the Kaiju-verse.

And then, boom, Toho drops the spiciest teaser ever: their next movie has Godzilla — AND HE’S ACTUALLY ACTING LIKE A MONSTER!

While Legendary’s reimagining of Godzilla as a cooperative saviour of humanity might have made big bucks at the box office, the franchise’s die-hards have been starving for the behemoth to return to his roots as a champion of indiscriminate terror. Not only did Toho’s latest Godzilla Minus One promise to do just that, but it also displayed immense potential to do well as a period drama, considering it was set during the perils of a World War.

After suffering through the silly (and unreleased lesser-known sexy Godzilla arcs), everyone's favourite giant radioactive lizard, Godzilla — or Gojira, if you're feeling fancy — roared into Japanese theatres, and then in the US shortly after. Fans went bananas and practically raced to see the beast in all its atomic-breathed glory. Sadly, many countries, including India, missed out on the big-screen experience.

However, Netflix recently swooped in like a saviour and dropped Godzilla Minus One into our laps. And in case you’ve been living under a rock, the film is set in Japan recovering from World War II. The story follows a guilt-ridden WW2 Japanese pilot who finds a makeshift family and lands a job detonating underwater mines. Guess what shows up? Godzilla (and a whole lotta trouble).

A lot is being said about the latest version of the franchise — mostly good things. While the director Takashi Yamazaki was tight-lipped about the blockbuster’s budget, sources have since determined that it falls somewhere between $10 million and $12 million. Impressively, the film even received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. Further, both critics and the audience have been raving about the writing, something that is oft missing from some kaiju films.

However, amid all of this praise, there are some fans who weren’t, well fans, of Godzilla Minus One. Even as we remain steadfast loyalists of the franchise, here are some unpopular opinions on the recent re-telling of the OG monster.
Problems with CGI
Let’s face it, Legendary really got things grinding in the CGI department with their Godzilla films. Few things have effectively commanded as much raw terror as the final fight scene in Godzilla v Kong. There is a particular moment where Mechagodzilla looks into the camera after releasing its atomic ray all over the city, followed by the jarring mechanical ‘THUD-THUD-THUD’ that really fills your heart with something.

While GvK did not succeed in winning any Oscars, Minus One won the Best Visual Effects at the 96th Academy Awards. This has received some criticism from netizens, with some alleging that the Legendary film had far better CGI than the Toho film.

“How did this receive an award for CGI? It looks like an early 2000s ScyFy channel movie,” one user commented on Rotten Tomatoes.

Meanwhile, other online critics brought up the fact that the graphics failed to make Godzilla expressive enough, something the audience had gotten used to with the recent Legendary releases.

“I know they didn’t have a big special effects budget but Godzilla looked like the puppet originals, with a lack of expression and I thought they try to give it more realistic expressions with CGI,” another user notes on the same platform.
Godzilla isn’t the star of the movie
Many have labelled Godzilla Minus One an instant classic. And the melodramatic tone of the film captured the interest of the audience and critics alike. Yamazaki created a different world within the war-torn Japan and with the main character managed to evoke sufficient emotion in viewers.

However, many fans weren’t exactly looking to be moved by the human elements. They just wanted to watch Godzilla doing what he does best — terrorise.

For example, one Rotten Tomato user wrote: “I guess I'm the only one who wants more monster action and less "compelling human stories" in a Godzilla movie. I find it boring and forgettable.”

“I liked the Godzilla scenes a lot and it did have some memorable characters but there was way too much humans and not much Godzilla. And the human scenes were boring and slow,” wrote another.
It was just.. “okay”
Fans of the franchise had some other complaints as well, one of them being that while the film was good enough, it certainly didn’t wow them.

“It's okay but I would not call it a masterpiece,” said a user on Reddit.

Some had stronger opinions about the pacing, the dramatic storytelling, and even the plot. Here is what some other Redditors had to say:

“Pacing was seriously all over the place, acting was oozing with cheese and most of the dramatic scenes didn't add anything to the plot. Some Godzilla scenes were all right but still... "BEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME", 8+ on IMDB and 98% on RT, seriously??....”

“With mediocre CGI, forced acting, and sluggish pacing, almost everything about this monster movie is painfully dull.”

“Its plot is pretty generic and predictable and the acting was quite cheesy and resembled a soap opera. Some of the political overtones of the movie were also weird, like how it was essentially a redemption arc for a kamikaze pilot.”

These viewpoints just serve to show that as long as there is art, it will be criticised. But did any of these opinions resonate with you?


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