Godzilla Minus One: Theories, Reviews, and Where to Watch?

Godzilla Minus One is a 2023 Japanese kaiju film directed and written by Takashi Yamazaki, and produced by Toho Studios. It is the first live-action Godzilla film from Toho since Shin Godzilla (2016), and the 36th film in the Godzilla franchise. The film is set in postwar Japan, between 1945 and 1947, and follows a group of survivors who try to stop Godzilla, a mutated creature that emerges from the sea and threatens to destroy Tokyo.

The film is a tribute to the original 1954 Godzilla, which was a metaphor for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the subsequent nuclear tests in the Pacific. Godzilla Minus One explores the themes of trauma, grief, hope, and resilience, as the characters struggle to cope with the aftermath of the war and the presence of Godzilla. The film also features stunning visual effects, thrilling action sequences, and a powerful score by Naoki Sato.

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Movie Review: Godzilla Minus One is a Masterpiece of Kaiju Cinema

Godzilla Minus One is a masterpiece of kaiju cinema, blending spectacle and emotion in a compelling story of human survival and courage. The film is a homage to the classic Godzilla films, but also a fresh and original take on the iconic monster.

The film’s protagonist is Kōichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki), a former kamikaze pilot who survives the war and returns to Tokyo, where he finds his parents dead and his home destroyed. He adopts a baby girl, Akiko (Sae Nagatani), whose mother died in a bomb shelter, and falls in love with a young woman, Noriko (Minami Hamabe), who also lost her family. Together, they try to rebuild their lives in the ruins of the city.

However, their peace is shattered when Godzilla, a colossal creature mutated by nuclear radiation, emerges from the sea and attacks Ginza, the commercial center of Tokyo. Godzilla unleashes his atomic breath, creating a shockwave that devastates the city and kills thousands of people. Noriko is caught in the blast and presumed dead, leaving Shikishima heartbroken and enraged.

Shikishima joins a group of volunteers, led by his friend and former scientist Kenji Noda (Hidetaka Yoshioka), who devise a plan to lure Godzilla into the bay and kill him with a combination of depth charges, Freon tanks, and balloons. Shikishima pilots a special plane that attracts Godzilla’s attention, while the others set up the traps. The plan succeeds in bringing Godzilla to the surface, where Shikishima delivers the final blow by crashing his plane into Godzilla’s head, destroying his brain.

However, Godzilla is not dead yet. His body starts to crumble and regenerate, revealing a glowing core inside his chest. Shikishima, who survived the crash, realizes that Godzilla is a living nuclear reactor, and decides to sacrifice himself by detonating the core with a grenade. He bids farewell to Noriko and Akiko, who are watching from a nearby hospital, and triggers the explosion, killing Godzilla and himself.

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The film ends with a montage of scenes showing the reconstruction of Tokyo and the lives of the surviving characters. Noriko and Akiko, who miraculously survived Godzilla’s attack thanks to a piece of Godzilla’s flesh that fused with Noriko’s neck and healed her wounds, move to a new home and start a new life. Noda and his colleagues continue their scientific research and honor Shikishima’s memory. The final scene shows a piece of Godzilla’s flesh sinking into the sea, implying that Godzilla may return someday.

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Where to Watch Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One is now playing in theaters worldwide, with limited screens in the US. To find out when and where you can watch the movie near you, you can check the local showtime listings at the main theater sites below:

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Godzilla Minus One is not currently available to stream, nor has Toho announced plans to stream it on any VoD or subscription-based platforms alongside its theatrical release. However, Amazon Prime Video in Japan has indicated that the film will eventually be available to buy or purchase on its website. It is likely that the film will also be released on other digital media outlets like Vudu, Apple, YouTube, and Amazon in the future. We will update this section with new information as it becomes available.

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Godzilla Minus One: All Theories Out There

Godzilla Minus One has sparked a lot of discussion and speculation among fans and critics, who have come up with various theories and interpretations of the film’s plot, characters, and themes. Here are some of the most popular and interesting theories out there:

Noriko is part Godzilla: Some fans have theorized that the black mark on Noriko’s neck is actually a piece of Godzilla’s flesh that merged with her and saved her life. This theory is based on the fact that Noriko’s injuries are too minor for being caught in the blast, that the film mentions “shards” of Godzilla littering the area, and that this version of Godzilla has extreme regeneration abilities.

The theory also suggests that Noriko and Godzilla have some parallels, such as both dying and returning in nuclear explosions, both receiving head injuries, and both having a glowing core in their chest. The theory also points out the transition from Noriko’s neck to a regenerating chunk of Godzilla in the hospital scene as a hint.

Shikishima’s plan only worked because Godzilla was charging his beam: Another fan theory proposes that Shikishima’s plan to destroy Godzilla’s brain only worked because Godzilla was about to use his atomic breath when he crashed his plane. The theory argues that when Godzilla is charging his beam, his spines push up, like nuclear control rods, and regulate the reaction in his body.

When Shikishima destroyed his head with the spines out, the reaction went out of control and caused Godzilla to crumble. If Shikishima had tried his plan while Godzilla wasn’t about to fire, he would have only knocked him out for a few hours.

Godzilla is a metaphor for Japan’s history and identity: A more thematic theory suggests that Godzilla represents Japan’s history and identity, especially in relation to the war and the nuclear bombings. The theory claims that Godzilla is both a victim and a perpetrator of violence, a symbol of destruction and rebirth, and a source of fear and awe.

The theory also notes that Godzilla’s appearance and abilities change throughout the film, reflecting Japan’s transformation from a feudal to a modern nation, from a militaristic to a pacifist state, and from a colonizer to a colonized country. The theory also interprets the ending as a message of hope and resilience, as Japan learns to cope with its past and look forward to its future.

Godzilla Minus One is a prequel to Shin Godzilla: A more speculative theory suggests that Godzilla Minus One is actually a prequel to Shin Godzilla, the 2016 reboot of the franchise. The theory is based on the fact that both films are set in the Reiwa era of the franchise, and that both films feature a Godzilla that evolves and adapts to different situations.

The theory also points out some similarities between the two films, such as the use of Freon tanks to freeze Godzilla, the involvement of the US military, and the presence of a glowing core in Godzilla’s chest. The theory also proposes that the piece of Godzilla’s flesh that sinks into the sea at the end of Godzilla Minus One is the same one that washes ashore and mutates into Shin Godzilla in the beginning of Shin Godzilla.


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