Godzilla 2000, also known as Godzilla Millennium, was the first Japanese Godzilla film to come out after that terrible American one where Matthew Broderick runs from baby beasties in an empty hockey arena. Fans of the original Godzilla weren’t happy with that movie because it turned Godzilla from “force of nature” who could ignore anything the military hit him with to “giant animal” that could be killed with a couple missiles.
Oh, who am I kidding? Nobody was happy with that movie.
Also, despite the title, Godzilla 2000 came out in 1999.
I’ll give Godzilla 2000 this much: it has much better special effects than most Godzilla movies. That’s not to say the special effects are great, but they are a step up. It probably helps that most of Godzilla’s scenes take place at night, so he can be somewhat shrouded in darkness. He looks like he’s been redesigned a bit since his battle with Mothra, too. Oh, he still looks like a guy in a rubber suit, but they do some neat stuff with him here, like show his breath fog the windshield of a car that drove too close to his face.
Godzilla is a mostly undisputed good guy this time around. A meteor comes down and hits the ocean, and soon the thing is flying because there’s a flying saucer inside of it. But for a while, it looks like a flat rock flying around, so when it first attacks Godzilla, it looks like Godzilla is battling a flying rock, so you know that doesn’t sound too good. That’s the longest Godzilla spends outside during the day this time around too, so that doesn’t help. As it turns out, the aliens are looking to take over the Earth and scan Godzilla’s DNA and eventually build their own giant monster, called Orga in the closing credits. Godzilla obviously prevails, mostly because Orga has a very large mouth and actually tries to swallow Godzilla whole head first. You can guess how that turned out.
Besides revealing Godzilla has awesome regenerative powers, two things stuck out: 1) Godzilla somehow knew which government bureaucrat was trying to kill him while others just wanted to study him because the big lizard made straight for that guy after he blew up Orga from the inside. That guy probably could have leapt to safety but he seems to let Godzilla collapse the part of the roof he’s standing on. 2) Other human characters (AKA the chafe you have to deal with when Godzilla’s not on screen doing anything) speculate why Godzilla always comes to save them, but after saying what a hero the big monster is, we cut to Godzilla using his radioactive fire breath to set half of Tokyo on fire. As that’s the end of the movie, maybe we should wonder about whether or not Godzilla does any good at all. True, someone had to stop Orga and the unnamed, unseen aliens, but you have to wonder why anyone still lives in Tokyo in this universe.
Seven and a half mouth tentacles out of ten.