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Movie Review

Godzilla 2000

MPAA Rating: PG for monster violence and mild language

Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
STAFF WRITER

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Action Sci-Fi Fantasy
Length:
1 hr. 39 min.
Year of Release:
1999
USA Release:
Aug 18, 2000 (wide—2,111 theaters)
Scene from “Godzilla 2000” Godzilla
Featuring: Takehiro Murata, Hiroshi Abe, Naomi Nishida, Shiro Sano, Mayu Suzuki
Director: Takao Okawara
Producer: Shogo Tomiyama
Distributor: Columbia Tristar

The “Godzilla” series of films has always interested me. Yet I understand that there is a clear line which separates audience appeal with these movies. The very first film, “Gojira” (in Japanese) was a serious attempt to deal with the tragedies of Hiroshima.

During the 1960’s, “Godzilla” became a cult hero battling Mothra, Ghidrah, Rodan, and other villains. I must confess that even 1998’s “Godzilla” starring Matthew Broderick was one I enjoyed.

“Godzilla 2000” is what the classic series was all about. This version is perhaps the first to make it to America’s big screen from Japan in 15 years. Now Godzilla is back and tougher than ever! But he is still a man in a rubber suit and the buildings and cars still look like models.

The story is styled to meet the expectations of every fan. It is a visual buffet of classic “cheese”. Japan is once again facing disaster from invaders from space. A company sponsored by the CCIA (Crisis Control Intelligence Agency) is lifting a meteor from the ocean floor. They are hoping this rock will contain a new energy source. What they discover is an alien spaceship that is activated by their lights. The spaceship becomes interested in Godzilla because of his regenerative powers. Quicker than you can say “stormchasers”, this film has the GPN (Godzilla Positioning Network) interested in discovering more about Godzilla. The GPN and the CCIA have their share of conflicts in this well crafted, but predictable movie. The CCIA tries to destroy the spaceship and Godzilla, but fails at both.

“Godzilla 2000” has a few negative objections. The language is mild and the violence is similar to the Saturday morning fare. I took my nine-year-old son along to do the review. He has watched all the old Godzilla films with me. His first comment was, “Cool, dad, it’s dubbed.” This is one fun movie.


Viewer Comments
Too many on the internet have bashed this film for bad dubbing, and confusing scenes. This can’t, nor should be, blamed on the film. Had the original dialogue been kept, this movie would be soooo much better to our eyes. The SFX are on par with the ’98 flub, but the story, monsters, and characters are far superior. The true Godzilla has returned. Hail the KING!!!… My Ratings: [3½/5]
—Gojira, age 13, non-Christian
“Godzilla 2000” has all the elements that make a great monster movie, flimsy plot, bad dubbing, and cheesy specal effects… I loved it!
—Curtis Marquart, age 31
[Other] Godzilla movies from Japan [within the past] 15 years: “…vs. Biolante,” “…vs. Mechagodzilla II,” “…vs. Queen Mothra,” “…vs. King Ghidora,” “…vs. Space Godzilla,” and “…vs. Destoroyah.” “Godzilla 2000” continues the storylines from these films and features the debut of the new Godzilla, who is really Godzilla Jr., taking over for his “dad” who died in an explosive meltdown in the last film, “Godzilla vs. Destoroyah.” My Ratings: [5/3]
—Jared Moraitis, age 25
Not a bad movie. I liked it, but I grew up watching Godzilla. Yeah, it was the guy in the rubber suit on the soundstage, but the rubber suit is better and the soundstage is better than before. They (Toho Productions) at least learned one thing from the “American Godzilla”, a few CG effects here and there are NOT a bad thing. Toho used good footage of actual tanks and actual jet fighters. That helped a lot. Explosions are better than before too. I liked the Tristar Godzilla, but this was a pretty good show for a guy in a rubber suit. I hope they keep them coming. My Ratings: [3½/3]
—James, age 36
Don’t let the 1 star in moviemaking quality turn you off automatically, remember, it is a quirky Japanese Godzilla film. This is not, by any means, to be taken seriously. The plot (or what there is of one) is a giant, prehistoric flying saucer is found off the coast of Japan, flies to Tokyo and starts sucking up all the memorybanks of all the computers, so it can rule Earth. And the big green guy is the only thing that stands in its way. Even though the 1998 American film had a higher budget and better special effects, this one is much more fun to watch. A few mild swear words, but they were hardly noticeable while watching, and there is a fair share of cities getting wiped out by Godzilla and the alien. (Which may scare very young children.) There are some lines that may upset some Christians because they have something to do with spiritism, but they seemed to pack the movie with cliches, and this was just another one to throw in, So don’t take it too seriously. In fact, to be on the safe side, don’t take any of this movie too seriously. Grab a big tub of buttered popcorn and watch it with the mindset of a ten year old.
My Ratings: Moral rating: 3 / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Zach McCue, age 13 (USA)
Movie Critics
…a great deal of ‘comic book’ style violence occurs…
—ScreenIt!
…delivers fairly well, if not spectacularly…
—Stomp Tokyo
…the same drill of bad acting, heinous dubbing, and clumsy special effects…
—Michael Atkinson, Mr. Showbiz