An irony-free kaiju blockbuster that simultaneously pays respectful homage to the original Ultraman mythos while re-energising the beloved character with kinetic high-tech filmmaking.
Ever since the success of the original Godzilla feature film in the 50s, Japan has witnessed a galactic explosion of the tokusatsu genre (live-action film/tv centred around special effects) with many kaiju aka giant monsters causing architectural chaos. Shin Ultraman is the follow-up collaboration between Shinji Higuchi (Attack on Titan) and Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion), reimagining the revered Ultraman franchise with contemporary sensibilities as the duo previously did with the popular reboot Shin Godzilla.
This mesmerising opus blends blockbuster spectacle with existential contemplation, inviting audiences to ponder their earthly insignificance within a universe brimming with godlike beings. We follow S-Class Species Suppression Protocol (SSSP) as they battle colossal creatures while defying the government’s destructive desire for nuclear weaponry. When the mysterious leviathan Neronga emerges and attacks Japan, the enigmatic Ultraman intervenes, leaving the SSSP to unravel the titular hero's secrets.
Anchored by compelling performances, particularly by Hidetoshi Nishijima and Masami Nagasawa, Shin Ultraman captivates with breathtaking visuals that deftly pay homage to the franchise's origins. Anno's screenplay unfurls with breakneck velocity, employing narrative shorthand to acquaint audiences with an ensemble cast, emphasising their inherent vulnerability and ineptitude in comprehending the intricate web of cosmic machinations. Propelled by an audacious narrative and thought-provoking themes, this irony-free mad monster mash transcends the confines of traditional blockbusters, offering an exhilarating nostalgia inducing chow-down while simultaneously being an intellectually profound cinematic experience. — AT