In Takao Okawara's GODZILLA 2000, Godzilla may have met his match in
something that looks like a flying piece of fossilized dino dung in the
shape of the Millennium Falcon. But since this is the 23rd Japanese film
about Godzilla, the smart money is on Godzilla to win again.
When we first see Godzilla in his millennium edition, he is on his usual
power trip, knocking over electrical lines left and right. After noshing on
metal delicacies like ships and bridges, he is ready to fight all comers.
The Japanese army has developed a special metal piercing missile that they
figure is certain to take down their old nemesis, but the bombs aren't even
strong enough to give the thick-skinned monster a case of heartburn.
Yes sirree, after being bored with Roland Emmerich's GODZILLA, prepared with
zillions of dollars' worth of computer generated images, we are back to
basics with this Japanese version of a guy in a rubber suit. The English
dubbing is so unsynchronized that it appears that they intended it to
mismatch as another way to generate laughs.
When our two mega-villains square off in the obligatory, ending battle to
the death, their weapons of choice are classic. Against Godzilla's dinosaur
breath, his competition resorts to the evil eye.
The biggest problem with GODZILLA 2000 is that it is just not cheesy enough.
And we waste a lot of time waiting for Godzilla to get back on stage. How
many breaks does a man in a rubber suit need?
Although the humans in the story mainly hang around gawking or shooting at
the monster, sometimes their hokey dialog does add some zest to the story's
campy ambiance. "Are you sure you've still got film in the camera?" asks
scientist Yuji Shinoda (Takehiro Murata) to his female companion, as they
are hot on Godzilla's trail. "Oh, bite me!" she shoots back.
The problem with GODZILLA 2000 is that, like wasabi, a little goes a long
way. Thirty minutes would have been plenty for me.
GODZILLA 2000 runs 1:30. It is rated PG for monster violence and mild
language and would be fine for most kids. Children under 5 might be
frightened by the silly looking monsters, but none of the kids in our
audience appeared to be the least bit upset.
My son Jeffrey and his friend Nickolas, both 11, gave the movie ***. They
thought it was funny, and both liked the space ship best. They did wish that
some of Godzilla's old rivals would have made an appearance.
Copyright © 2000 Steve Rhodes