Godzilla 2000 (1999)
In a very real sense, Godzilla 2000 is the movie that the American Godzilla movie (starring Matthew Broderick) should have been. The movie begins with a semi-independent researcher taking a reporter (along with his young daughter) to a potential Godzilla sighting. Where they get more than they bargained for. They soon see Godzilla face to face, giving them (and the audience) an appreciation for just how truly large, and imposing, Godzilla is compared to relatively puny human beings. The reporter panics and takes several flash photographs of Godzilla. These annoy him and he pursues them through the small tunnel that they’re driving through …. With his massive feet breaking through the ground shortly behind him.
In this movie, Godzilla is full-blown frightening, and that’s a good thing. He’s not perceived by the audience as a man in a rubber suit, but rather as a catastrophic force of nature to be endured. In short, the suspension of belief works and works well.
The basic plot isn’t remarkably new — aliens come to Earth to study Godzilla has been done multiple times before–but it’s done in a fresh way, with the “flying saucer” having been lost in the depths of the ocean for years immeasurable, and the aliens seeking to make a “clone” of Godzilla for the obligatory fight scene. It’s also refreshing in that humanity (and the audience) never directly hears from the aliens; all we have to go on is the scientists’ suppositions.
In all, Godzilla 2000 is an enjoyable movie–more serious than the expected “men in rubber suits pretending to be in the WWE” that we think of as a Godzilla movie. I rate it 3 stars and recommend viewing it. It can be seen in its’ entirety via the website Crackle.
Editorial review of Godzilla 2000, courtesy of Amazon.com
Gaaaaaaaargh! The guy in the rubber suit is back with a vengeance. Godzilla’s back in the nurturing hands of Toho Studios, and they’ve beefed up the big beast with more highly developed spinal fins, resembling large crystals, and more menacing teeth. But he’s the same guy in the rubber suit who smashes Tokyo’s buildings and cars and dukes it out in larger-than-life smackdowns with the universe’s monstrous villains. The plot is familiar to anyone who was a 12-year-old boy: Godzilla erupts from the sea for reasons that are never made clear, proceeds to wreak havoc amongst the buildings of a model city, and meets and beats a monster his own size, thus saving humanity.
His nemesis this time around is a 600-foot-long rock that scientists find at the bottom of the ocean and unwisely bring to the surface, where it proves to be an alien spacecraft bent on acquiring Godzilla’s regenerative abilities. “A visitor from outer space?” exclaims one of the scientists, “My god, it’s just too crazy to believe!” To which the lead scientist responds, “Right, like Godzilla’s normal. Anyway, it’s my theory that…”
The film is thoroughly entertaining, and not just for the breathtaking sequences of destruction that follow Godzilla’s emergence and his battles with the alien space monster. These do have a preternatural beauty. But the human story, if you can call it that, holds your interest due to the shear preponderance of improbabilities it generates. You laugh at the “mistakes”–assuming they weren’t planted there as amiable self-deprecation. –Jim Gay
movie quotes from Godzilla 2000
Io Shinoda: You really are an imbecile.
Yuki Ichinose: Don’t you think this is a little too close?
Yuji Shinoda: I need to get as close as possible. If you don’t like it, go home and watch it on TV.
Japanese Store Owner: [Seeing saucer flying overhead, In US version:] Gott Im Himmel!
Jeep Driver: Did you see that flying rock? It was unbelievable!
[closing scene; Japanese Version]
Shiro Miyasaka: The recklessness of science gave birth to you, Godzilla. Why do you appear before us?[Godzilla continues to trample through Shinjuku]
Yuki Ichinose: Because we humans gave birth to this monster.
Yuji Shinoda: Godzilla is… inside all of us!
[closing scene; US Version]
Shiro Miyasaka: We scientists produced this monster … Godzilla. And ever since, we tried to destroy him.
[Godzilla continues to trample through Shinjuku]
Yuki Ichinose: But then, why … Why does he keep protecting us?
Yuji Shinoda: Maybe because … Godzilla is inside each one of us!