Spoilers felt like kids again
When Fantasia was coming back to theatres, I knew that there would be several films that would be a draw for me for different reasons. Amongst them, there’s usually at least one that is a callback to younger years. This one is the movie that brought me back to days gone by. I might be dating myself here but I’ve seen this once a very long time ago, in a much smaller screen when I was a lot smaller myself. Now it’s time to go big or go home.
SHIN ULTRAMAN (2022) is directed by Shinji Higuchi and written by Hideaki Anno. Giant kaiju monsters are appearing all over Japan and going on a rampage of destruction and chaos. A new government agency known as the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol (SSSP) has been created to track them down and destroy them. As their science and resources seem to be unable to stop them, help comes in the form of a titanic humanoid arrives from space. The mysterious alien is classified as Ultraman, and he seems to have powers that rival those of the monsters. Wanting to discover the secrets behind this new ally is new SSSP officer Hiroko Asami (Masami Nagasawa). She gets no help from her aloof and distant partner, Shinji Kaminaga (Takumi Saitoh) who keeps disappearing in the middle of the battle.
This film has a great production, innovative camera angles and appropriate performances but it knows what it is. It’s a serial adventure property that plays it straight without changing the over-the-top ludicrous plot for the highest goal of them all – your entertainment. Yes, it’s about an alien superhero fighting monsters to save the world and it embraces that storyline with no shame. You can also read between the lines (it’s obvious very often) to find a critique of politicians and governments trying to gain the upper hand in global dominance.
Highly recommended with reservations but a powerful nostalgia advantage. Audiences that want to watch it are not looking for sound scientific facts. Modern audiences might not see the appeal. It can be silly but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. This is made for pure entertainment value and will resonate with fans of the kaiju classic serials of old, specially the original property. Worth a watch if you are even casually interested in the subgenre, but particularly if you watched it as a kid.
That will do for now.