- Takumi Saitoh, Masami Nagawawa, Hidetoshi Nishijima
- Shinji Higuchi
- Not Rated
- Action, Sci-Fi, Superhero
- Release date
- January 11, 2023
Shin Ultraman is the love child of Hideaki Anno, the director of Shin Godzilla (seeing a pattern?). The fact that it took ten years for him to develop the script for this, makes it that much more delicious. Let me break down the basic story for you. There has been a rash of giant monsters appearing throughout Japan, wreaking havoc wherever they go. So, the Japanese government has created a special task force to deal with them. During a particularly challenging mission, a giant silver-clad hood ornament (Ultraman) appears and defeats the monster. Rinse and repeat, and then a dark alien with glowing eyes and wearing a fedora and trench coat does his best to convince the government that Ultraman is evil and must be destroyed. However, it turns out that he is part of a much larger plan for yet another entity to take over/destroy the world.
Shin Ultraman Review
You’ll have to take all of this review as a whole because no single part can adequately encapsulate this movie. For instance, we’ve scored it in the 40s but if you take out the Non-Wokeness score it drops down to the 20s. Conversely, even though it objectively belongs in the 20s, we’ve placed it in our Worth It selection.
Reviewing films from other cultures is always challenging, but when they are films from non-western cultures, the difficulty is that much more. All cultures have their own way of telling stories; Indian movies have big musical dance numbers, and the French smoke a lot and look moody…in their films too. So, since I can only review Shin Ultraman through the lens of a corn-fed Westerner, this is what I saw.
Shin Ultraman is a fantastic movie…for those who love horrible movies, and we don’t mean bad like Hulu’s House of Darkness bad. We mean Soylent Green and Attack of The Killer Tomatoes bad, movies that are campy with over-the-top characters and premises but still have that certain something. Shin Ultraman has the same ridiculous dialogue and characters that you remember from the old Japanese giant-monster movies from the past, but now they also have just the worst CGI. It’s hard to believe that, in 2023, CGI for a major motion picture released in a country with the 3rd highest GDP could be so much worse than SHE-Hulk, but it is. It’s hard to believe that CGI could be worse than giant rubber suits, but it is.
One of the greatest and worst things about this flick is how it handles time. With everyone wearing the same Reservoir Dogs costume every day, and distances that should take hours to cover being spanned from one cut to the next, it’s impossible to tell if the movie covers a few days or a few months.
Throw in amazing action like a group of people sitting at a group desk and expositing, the same group of people sitting at a different group desk and expositing, then that very same group back at the original group desk expositing some more, or how about; the leader of a group of people expositing to his boss who sits behind a desk, or that leader expositing to another group of people sitting in a conference room, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a terrific drinking game.
Who can tell? I’m no expert on Japanese film or culture, so everything seemed kosher to me.
- Every time Ultraman shoots his Spacium Beam
- Every time Spacium-133 is mentioned
- Every time Hikiro Asami slaps her own @$$ or that of someone else.
- Every time the word “buddy” is mentioned
- Every time Kaiju are mentioned
**For those who want to get good and truly trashed, you can take a drink every time that the name Ultraman is said**
James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.