Movie Name: Godzilla 2000 (a.k.a. "Godzilla 2000: Millenium)

What can I say? The king is back, baby -- LONG LIVE THE KING!!! Everything that the American Godzilla Movie wasn't, this movie is!

OK, this movie may not be for fans of mainstream Hollywood movies, but if you're a die-hard Godzilla fan then this movie ROCKS! This movie is EVERYTHING I could have expected from a "real" Godzilla movie, and then some! Now, it's true that I was a bit diappointed that Toho decided to start the series over yet again [I was really wondering what would happen to Junior after Godzilla vs. Destroyer], but I really, really liked this film! Why did I like it? Let me count the ways....

First of all, I really liked what they did to "modernize" Godzilla's look for this new series [and yes, this is the first movie in a new series]. Without sacrificing the "essential" Godzilla, they've made him leaner and a whole lot meaner. The new jagged spines on his back really stand out and give a sense of power and menace. And they gave him a truly awesome plasma braeath weapon! I do wish they had kept him the same size as he was in Godzilla vs. Destroyer, but his smaller size allowed him to interact a bit better with the human characters.

Second, I really liked the plot. It flowed smoothly with no glaring plot holes, and kept my interest throughout. Plus, it had enough of the campy humor that is expected in a Godzilla movie to keep me happy without going overboard.

Third, I loved the sense of menace throughout the movie. Keep in mind that the original Godzilla movie was meant as a horror movie, and one thing that has been lacking from most of the Godzilla movies is a palpable feeling of terror. Well, the opening scenes of this movie, with Godzilla appearing out of the fog, really gave me the willies! And there were plenty of other similar scenes as well.

Fourth, I liked the special effects! All right, they didn't spend $100 million on the movie, and Godzilla is still portrayed by a man in a suit, but this movie still represents a watershed for Godzilla movies. Godzilla films have always been known for their quality miniature work, but this movie takes it to the next level. The scenes of destruction in the downtown area are simply amazing! There's also a significant amount of CGI work in this film, including a scene of Godzilla swimming underwater and multiple scenes of regeneration from injuries. They didn't get everything perfect, but I think this film has the best special effects of any other Godzilla movie [not including the American version, of course].

Fifth, I liked the characters! When they were placed in jeopardy I actually cared whether they lived or died, which is always nice.

Sixth, I like the way they returned Godzilla to his origins as basically a force of nature. He fights against the alien menace not out of any sense of obligation to humankind, but simply out of self-preservation. In fact, he destroys as much as the menace he is supposed to be fighting!

Seventh, he just totally kicks butt in this movie! Against an arguably superior force he just keeps fighting and eventually wins with no help from anybody else.

It's really hard not to make comparisons between this movie and the American movie, but I think that is perfectly appropriate. Especially since it is apparent that this movie was made in direct response to the American version as an attempt to "take back" Godzilla and return him to his roots. Interestingly enough, there are a number of scenes in this movie which actually seem to be paying homage to scenes in the American movie. And that's also appropriate, since the American movie certainly had its redeeming quality, especially when it comes to superb special effects. But what this movie has most of all is a clear respect and love for the long history of Godzilla, and THAT is what was primarily lacking from the American movie. The American movie was a fun giant monster movie that could have been called just about anything. This, on the other hand, is a GODZILLA movie!

Here are some stats for the new Godzilla:

  • Height: 55 meters
  • Weight: 250 kilotons
  • Length: 122.5 meters
  • Tail Length 78 meters
  • Walking Speed: 40 km per hour
  • Skin Color: dark green
  • Color of Spines:Purple
  • Color of Breath: Orange
  • * * *


    The american release of this film didn't really change much in the way of actual scenes [only about 9 minutes was cut from the original], and they certainly didn't ADD any scenes with American actors this time around. However, the American dsitributor [Sony/Tristar] did play EXTREMELY fast and loose with the dubbed dialog. Most of the real groaners in the American release WERE NOT IN THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE VERSION!!!

    For the record, the following lines were ADDED to the American version:

    And the list goes on and on [and on and on and on....]

    The original version also didn't have the hyper-cheesy "THE ? END" appear on the screen. Oh, and remember the scene where the father and daughter manage to go back into City Tower because all the soldiers are momentarily looking the other direction? Well, in the original version one of the soldiers gets off the phone and TELLS them they can go inside as long as they hurry. Which makes a lot more sense when Katagiri's assistant later admits to giving them authorization to enter the building....

    So if you left the theater thinking that the dialog was TRULY awful and that certain scenes just didn't make sense, blame Sony/Tristar for what they did to the film, not Toho. Gee, you'd almost think that Sony/Tristar was DELIBERATELY trying to sabotage the film so that American audiences wouldn't think it was really all that much better than their version. Naaaaaahhhh....

    Close This Window