Godzilla vs. the …Um… Downloading Rock?
Godzilla 2000 (Gojira ni-sen mireniamu) (1999): 7 out of 10: Promoted with a kick ass trailer (which was infinitely better than the film itself) Godzilla 2000 roared into theaters a few years back on a mission to erase the memory of “that American Godzilla”. For many of us it would be the first time seeing a Japanese Godzilla on the big screen. (I may have seen Godzilla 1985 in the theater, but my memory is fuzzy). Turns out while there is something charming about watching a Godzilla film in your PJ’s every Saturday morning during Million Dollar Movie on Channel 9 a lot of that love disappears when you plopped down seven-fifty. (It also helps when I watched Godzilla movies every Saturday morning, it was 1978 and I was ten.)
The movie starts out strong enough with a couple of brilliant scenes that ape both Twister and Jurassic Park. You got to love them Godzilla tornado chasers and when the big guy himself blocks a tunnel and breathes on the windshield; it is the pinnacle of Godzilla film-making.
It is all downhill from there. Godzilla himself disappears from the movie. A pet rock replaces him. Yes, an inanimate object. The fidget factor is high. Add in subplots you couldn’t care less about and characters more irritating than anything else and I would excuse you for reaching for the fast-forward button. (Much easier at home than in the theater)
Godzilla reappears and the rock, which has planted itself on top of a building and is apparently downloading all the contents of Tokyo’s computers, shows its true colors as an alien that resembles of all things “that American Godzilla”. Godzilla doesn’t stand by and lets some illegal alien destroy Tokyo. No way some union busting scab will muscle in on big greens action. Destroying Tokyo is Godzilla’s personal gig.
The effects are pretty good (except for the underwater scenes) and the dubbing is bad (even for a Godzilla film. It is also strangely profanity laden, especially considering Godzilla himself doesn’t kill anyone on screen.) The last scene, however, is a true “What the F**k” moment with one of the silliest lines ever uttered on film. It made me feel ten years old all over again.