Godzilla 2000

Leave it to Hollywood to ruin a good concept. For Godzilla, Hollywood ruined it twice. The first time was way back when, when studios shot Raymond Burr and spliced his scenes into the first Godzilla movie. The second time was a couple of years ago, when Hollywood came out with their own version of the beast. Critics widely panned the movie, yet it went on to make an obscenely large amount of money. Both times, Toho Studios came to the rescue, making Godzilla movies the way they should be made. Although this is the first time in maybe fifteen years since a Godzilla movie received wide release in the United States, Japan has pumped out over twenty of them.

This time, Godzilla looks a little different. He is leaner and the spikes on his back are longer and more angular, but he is still the man in the rubber suit trampling intricately designed miniature Japanese cities. The main reason the American Godzilla flopped is the way the character changed. The American Godzilla was a monster and nothing else. The Japanese Godzilla is a monster, yet usually ends up fighting a greater evil. The Japanese Godzilla is also a fact of life amongst the Japanese, a part of nature that humans must coexist with, and a dangerous warning to the results of radiation. Godzilla 2000 sticks to the familiar formula. The dubbing is horrible and the dialogue is worse. Even with some computer-generated effects, most special effects are horrible. Cheesiness is the rule. Here, Godzilla is fighting an alien who was a rock for sixty million years at the bottom of the ocean.

Shinoda (Takehiro Murata, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah) is a scientist for the Godzilla Prediction Network, a loose-knit group of researchers who hope to study Godzilla and learn from their research. His daughter Io (Mayu Suzuki) and reporter Yuki (Naomi Nishida, Navie's Love) are the main characters this time. They are tracking Godzilla's reappearance, just as Godzilla is preparing to fight the alien. Wataru Mimura and Hiroshi Kashiwabara are skimming the bottom with their flat story and many children can probably direct as good as Takao Okawara (Abduction). Oddly enough, Godzilla 2000 works in its own lame way. It has a sense of charm and camp to it, daring viewers to take it seriously. The sad part is, Godzilla 2000, as bad and cheap as it is, is still far better than the Godzilla of 1998.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 37 minutes, Rated PG for monster violence and language.

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