Godzilla 2000

1999, Movie, PG, 97 mins


Forget that CGI iguana trying to pass itself off as Godzilla. The real big G is back, trademark roar and chubby-thighed rubber suit intact. This time Godzilla appears and starts smashing up Japan's power sources, pursued by both Shinoda (Takehiro Murata), the head of the Godzilla Prediction Network, who wants to study the beast, and ruthless government official Katagiri (Hiroshi Abe), who wants to kill first and ask questions later. Meanwhile, Katagiri's agency raises a 60 million-year-old meteorite from the ocean floor, only to find that it's an alien craft powered by light. It houses a hostile, amorphous creature that steals Godzilla's DNA and tries to turn itself into a superclone of the near-indestructible monster. It's hard not to read this as a none-too-subtle swipe at Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's American GODZILLA, especially in light of the movie's pointed visual swipes from Devlin and Emmerich's INDEPENDENCE DAY. The first Japanese Godzilla movie to be released theatrically in the U.S. since GODZILLA 1985, this installment (originally titled Godzilla: Millennium and released in Japan in 1999) purports to ignore everything that happened in all previous Godzilla movies except the 1954 original (a film of considerably dark and haunting power, both in that Japanese version and the 1956 American re-edit, GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS) and GODZILLA 1985. It clearly does ignore the movies of the '70s, in which the Godzilla was transformed into a benevolent friend to children, a sort of scaly, oversized big brother. But purists will note that it actually doesn't violate the complicated continuity of the revisionist Godzilla films of the late '80s and '90s: Yes, Godzilla dies in GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH (1995), but the Big G's nuclear energy was transferred to another, younger godzillasaurus — and let's face it, all godzillasaurii look alike. Fans won't want to miss this addition to the canon, if only for the fabulous shot of Godzilla swimming underwater like a prehistoric seal. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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