Godzilla 2000 pits a 180 foot-high Godzilla against an alien life form around from its 6,000 year sleep. Two hundred meters wide and shaped like a rock, the alien attacks Godzilla, who has just crushed the city of Nemuro, ... more »Japan. Can Gozilla destroy the UFO?« less
""Godzilla 2000," is a true epic of monster preportions! This film surprised me - a true G-fan in every sense of the term - with it's first rate monster designes, it's awsome musical score (as good as Akira Ifukube even, especially his theme music!), and even some terrific computer effects work! (Big surprise there!) The emphisis on Godzilla as an unstopable force-of-nature is taken to new levels here (the opening scene is in my opinion the highlight of the film, with ambitious camera angles and atmoushpere), and the villian monster Orga is marvelous in all of his different stages. This movie has a mood to it, not seen since the original - and "Godzilla 1985," as the big guy approaches land, everything stops - and is unbearably still (very eerie!). It's just like a tornado approaching, giving this film terrific realizm (yes, I know this is a Godzilla movie I'm talking about). Another thing is the human side of things:- The dubbing works nice here, very synced with the mouth movements. But it's never, never going to be perfect.- I enjoyed the characters, more everyday kinds of people. The main hero and his daughter run a G observation network, shades of "Twister," might be noticed here. And genuine humour is evident, like any regular domestic release, not unintentional, like in some of the early '70's entries. All around, I LOVED "Godzilla 2000" I recomend it to life-long fans, and even casual observers will find this piece entertaining. My favorite of all time, along with the newer Heisei series (exellent by the way, but "G-2000" is simply on a whole other level) serves up delicious action-packed entertainment."
Best Godzilla movie in a long time!
John Cassidy | Richmond, VA | 10/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Produced by Toho as a "take that" to the awful American remake from 1998, I thought this Godzilla movie was really great! I also found it much better than the bloated Series 2 (1984-1995) films, and to be as fun as any of the Series 1 (1954-1975) films! The story was intriguing, the characters were likeable (and thankfully fewer characters, unlike the Byzantine Series 2 characters), the special effects are impressive (almost to the level of the new Gamera movies, and it even uses some CGI!), there was actually more hardcore monster action (as opposed to the in-your-face laser light shows of the recent films), Takayuki Hattori's music was well done for a non-Akira Ifukube score, and the movie doesn't take itself too seriously! Godzilla here looks his best yet, and the Millennian/Orga is one of Godzilla's more bizarre adversaries!Although the public response to this film was surprisingly positive, I was rather discouraged to hear the same words that US critics used to describe Japanese SF films past, such as "cheesy" and "campy." Although I don't mind poking fun at Japanese SPFX, I just wish they weren't so meanspirited. Besides, old fashioned suitamation FX has been improving in Japanese films, especially with the aid of CGI! You have to give them credit.I was very happy to see this film in the theater (I saw the Japanese version later on), and that Tri-Star brought this film to the US, partially to apologize to the US fans for that American monstrosity! I think it's time for the US to appreciate Japanese SPFX, and maintain its fandom in the US.In short, I reccommend this movie! Look for it, especially on DVD!"
A worthy successor to the Godzilla series
Michael J. Tresca | Fairfield, CT USA | 05/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was a big Godzilla fan in the 80s, when the Monster Movie of the Week seemed to play every hour of every day of the week. Although I can't precisely remember every monster and every battle, I fondly remember "Godzy" (as my mom would call him, both of my parents are sci-fi fans) beating the rubbery stuffing out of his opponents. Sometimes he had allies (Rodan), sometimes he had recurring enemies (King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla) and sometimes he just blew stuff up a lot.
Appreciating a Godzilla movie requires the viewer to adjust his expectations. Godzilla movies aren't about great acting, linear plots, or special effects. The Japanese movie industry understands its audience--if you're going to buy into a gigantic atomic-breathing humanoid lizard, pretty much anything goes. "Anything" includes robots, aliens, robots built by aliens, size-shifting robots (Jet Jaguar ROCKS!) and tiny singing faeries. And don't forget the giant moth.
Trying to make the Godzillaverse make sense is a huge mistake, as evidenced by the failure of the American version of Godzilla in theaters. There's nothing quite like creating a titanic lizard and then not giving him atomic breath because "that just wouldn't make sense."
Godzilla 2000 is the Toho studio's response to the American movie. Which is to say it is both better and worse.
By the time we get to Godzilla 2000, the big lug has been around long enough to create two rival investigating forces. On the good guy side we have the Godzilla Prediction Network (GPN) led by Shinoda (Takehiro Murata) and his daughter Io (Mayu Suzuki). The GPN team (if you can call them that) is accompanied by Yuki (Naomi Nishida), who is trying to get a good picture of Godzilla for the local newspaper. Ironically, nobody can get a good close-up of Godzilla because he emits enough radiation to ruin photography. Which really does make one wonder...shouldn't just being in proximity to Godzilla fry every human being in a hundred mile radius?
The bad guys consist of the Crisis Control Intelligence (CCI) agency, led by Katagiri (Hiroshi Abe). The two groups have a bit of history: Shinoda used to work for the CCI before he left due to their "violent tendencies." Where GPN seeks to examine and understand Godzilla for the good of mankind, the CCI wants to blow him up into big, radioactive chunks.
If you haven't figured it out yet, much of the movie centers on this philosophical argument as to how to treat Godzilla. It's pretty clear that Godzilla doesn't care either way, as he comes rampaging ashore in a quest to find Japan's power sources. Why? Because in a not very subtle way, Godzilla is a parallel for the dangers of atomic weapons. At least he was, when Godzilla first graced the screen. Godzilla is the result of our warmongering and he retaliates with a vengeance by attacking atomic plants.
The CCI takes the direct approach, accepting any human casualties that might be necessary to take Godzilla head on. Tanks, mines, armor-piercing missiles...none of it works, because Godzilla regenerates at incredibly high speed. That little tidbit of information greatly interests the GPN, who names Godzilla's DNA (Regenerator-1) and seeks to use it to save humanity. Well, maybe eventually. In another movie.
The unearthing of a meteorite by the CCI eventually interrupts Godzilla's rampage. Sure enough, the meterorite, which is millions of years old, awakens when touched by light. And that meteor is in reality an alien spacecraft with DNA mimicking capabilities. It immediately makes a beeline for Godzilla.
This alien being/ship is known as Orga, and it goes through several phases. First it starts out as a particularly feminine looking saucer. Then it transforms, for about thirty seconds, into a large jellyfish. This scene is so short and irrelevant to the movie that it seems like something was cut. Finally, Orga turns into a big guy in a rubber suit. And then we're back to the Godzilla movies from the 80s, where guys in suits slap each other silly until one of them falls down.
Godzilla has been redesigned for this film to make him look more feral looking. For the most part, it works. His dorsal spikes are particularly vicious, his fangs jut out over his lips, and his eyes are perpetually fixed in a cruel glare. Orga, on the other hand, looks ridiculous. He's a big, floppy-fisted monster with barely enough motion to move his gigantic oversized claws.
I never appreciated the physical acting required for Godzilla. When it's a rubber suit, the emotion that can be conveyed must be over-the-top pantomiming. This actor doesn't have it.
Godzilla has arms. Past Godzilla movies have made sure Godzilla ripped things apart with his claws, mauled his opponents, or twitched in agitation. This version of Godzilla doesn't have much to do but sort of wave his arms around slightly. It makes him look pretty foolish when he's trying to be scary or in pain or.
The other problem, and this is a big one, is how Godzilla uses his breath weapon. In other Godzilla movies, he reared backwards and you got the sense that breathing atomic fire took a lot of effort. When the flames blew out of his mouth, it seemed like a true exhalation of atomic destruction. In this movie, Godzilla looks vaguely constipated, waves his head about, and then the flames sort of fall out of his mouth.
Throughout the first half of the movie there is some amusing dialogue (or at least, amusing translations), some real moments of tension, and a lot of human stupidity. During the second half, the humans pretty much stand around and watch the city get blown up real good.
Of all the characters, Katagiri steals the show. When staring down Godzilla eye-to-eye, Katagiri simply lights a cigarette and says "I've never been this close to Godzilla before." But as well all know, nobody stares Godzilla in the eye and walks away without glowing.
The movie spirals into bizarre territory at the end, with Orga trying to absorb Godzilla, who strangely complies (there's a whole Orga/female Godzilla/male thing going on too, ICK). Scientists spout about Regenerator-1 genes, military generals philosophize about aliens from outer space, and Shinoda tells his daughter in a voice over about how Godzilla keeps protecting humanity because there's a little bit of him in all of us...
Meanwhile, in the background, Godzilla sets the entire city ablaze with his radioactive breath.
This movie is more like two movies, bridging the original Godzilla film with the later Monsterama battles that Godzilla has become known for. In fact, it's more a homage to all the Godzilla films that went before. All in all, a worthy successor to the Godzilla series and certainly more respectful of its origins than the American version."
C. Moon | Valley Village, CA | 10/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am glad to see that despite all the adverse influence (Gamera, American Godzilla), Toho still knows how to make one hell of a big goofy movie. This may be among my favorite of the newer G films, keeping the 'plot' at a steady pace, while featuring many other goodies we've come to know and love: intentionally bad dubbing, likable but two dimenstional characters, and a completely incomprehensible ending w/ moral. Put putting all those aside, G2K actually sets some pretty high standards that actually exceed hollywood. For one, the minature work here utterly amazing. There is nothing from hollywood that really makes such an incredible use of minatures and it far surpasses and former toho efforts. In the end as Godzilla continues to torch Japan, the ruined city looks completely believable. There are of course also some great shots of Godzilla along the skyline that work tremendously well--but as you might also expect, there are some scene you'll need to just pretend :)The final G test though is the fun meter. Was Godzilla's entrance REALLY cool, did it have you jumping up in down in the theater? Well maybe not, but it was great. For the non godzilla fans (and the people who like the US version) this may be completely lost on you and just another cheesy film, but for the those who 'get it' and have been getting it since they were little kids, G2K is a really great entry in the big guy's 50 year oeuvre."
GODZILLA's greatest movie ever
Michael J. Tresca | 05/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW! I was lucky enough to see this movie in a movie theater, and I loved every minute of it, here are the reasons. The first is the Godzilla design it's fantastic, it brings back many old elements, jagged spines, mean looking eyes, huge fangs, as well as a new more life look. Second was Orga, Godzilla's opponent, he's a very strange, but cool new monster. It has long ape like arms, a face that resembles the American Godzilla, and a powerful energy beam. Third is the music it's very mysterious and fits the feel of the movie very well. Fourth are the special effects, they're FANTASTIC. The scenes with Godzilla breathing fire, Orga blasting his energy beam or regenerating, the military attack, and Godzilla swimming (which is my favorite scene) are all amazing, they take Godzilla films to a new level of quality. Last is the final battle it is very exciting and really fun to watch. This is Godzilla at his best, I would recommend this movie to any G-fan, Sci-Fi fan, or anyone who wants to see a great Sci-Fi film, you won't be dissapointed."