Godzilla 2000 by Takao Okawara
Admittedly, I only saw bits and pieces of Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla remake that came out in 1998. But even the 20 minutes or so that I saw made it clear that it was not a Godzilla film. On the other hand, Godzilla 2000 is everything Godzilla wasn’t; terrible dubbing, cheesy sets and models, subpar special effects, and big rubber suits. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ironically, the movie starts off with Godzilla coming ashore in Japan. Within the first 10 minutes, we’re subjected to widespread carnage. Screw plot development, we want destruction, and that’s what we get! Of course, people are divided over the big lizard. Some want to destroy him, but others see him as a scientific phenomena that could benefit mankind if understood.
Things get more complicated when a meteor is discovered on the ocean floor. It might be a new source of energy, or it could be a giant alien spaceship with plans for taking over our world. Which one do you think it is? And of course, who do you think is going to run in and save Japan from its latest menace?
If you couldn’t tell by now, I had a huge grin throughout the entire movie. This is what I want from a Godzilla movie. I want to see bizarre alien spaceships. I want to see the inane military try to fight Godzilla with tanks and missiles for the umpteenth time and fail again. (You think they’d learn by now.) I want to see men in big rubber suits flail away at each other with explosions and cardboard sets going up in flames.
And in the final moments, when one of the characters concludes that maybe, just maybe, we all have a little Godzilla in all of us, I have to nod in agreement. There’s something wildly enjoyable about this film. It’s not great. Actually, it’s pretty bad. But it’s pretty bad in all of the right ways. It’s a movie that knows what people want to see and gives it to them, without a trace of irony, and with a lot of heart. And fiery breath.