Thank you Toho Studios for coming to your senses. After the negative reaction to a certain movie from TriStar about a mutated iguana, Toho decided to make a new Godzilla movie 6 years sooner than originally anticipated. Once again, the series was rebooted with this batch of movies being called the “Millennium” series. These movies would not have any continuity with any of the previous films except for the first movie. Since Sony, under their TriStar division, had the rights to the franchise at the time, they were able to release this in theaters in the U.S., making it the last time a Godzilla movie would receive a theatrical release until 2014’s Godzilla. So allow me to introduce the 23rd movie in the Godzilla series, Godzilla 2000: Millennium (a.k.a. Godzilla 2000)
The plot: Recognizing that Godzilla should be considered a force of nature, the Godzilla Prediction Network is an independent group that tries to predict when and where Godzilla will make landfall. While GPN’s founder Yuji Shinoda, his daughter Io, and newest member Yuki Ichinose are recording Godzilla’s latest appearance, the CCI (Crisis Control Intelligence) discover a UFO buried at the bottom of the ocean for over 65 million years. As the CCI attempt to raise the UFO, the ship begins rising on it own and begins to absorb energy from the sun before suddenly taking flight. Meanwhile, the JSDF is battling Godzilla, utilizing a new type of weapon, Full Metal Missiles, when the UFO interrupts the battle. The UFO and Godzilla battle, with Godzilla being driven underwater and the UFO crashing several miles away. After the battle ends, Yuji agrees to temporarily cooperate with the CCI and discovers the genetic ability behind Godzilla’s regeneration, which he names Organizer G1 (Regenerator G1 in the U.S.). However, the UFO has also learned of this and lands on the Tokyo Opera City Tower, where it begins downloading all of the files Tokyo’s computers. Mitsuo Katagiri, head of the CCI, tries using explosives to destroy the UFO, even though Yuji is still in the building trying to learn what the UFO is up to, but the plan fails. As Yuji reveals to everyone what the aliens are after, Godzilla arrives and begins battling the ship once again. The UFO temporarily subdues Godzilla and begins to absorb some of his DNA, which the aliens use to form a body for themselves outside the ship. However, due to the difference in Earth’s atmosphere, the body mutates into a monster named Orga. Godzilla recovers and blasts the UFO before beginning to battle Orga, but Orga has the remaining half of the UFO help battle Godzilla so that Orga can absorb more of Godzilla’s DNA. Godzilla destroys the UFO and when Orga attempts to swallow Godzilla whole, Godzilla blasts him with his atomic ray, completely vaporizing the monster. As Godzilla proceeds to rampage through the city, Yuji and the rest of the people wonder about Godzilla’s reasoning in protecting them one minute and attacking them the next.
I was so happy to see this in theaters. It helped get the bad taste out of my mouth that TriStar left. This was a decent movie in the series, but there honestly wasn’t anything special about it. The story and plot were decent but somewhat simplistic and boring at times. The characters were pretty simplistic and aside from Yuji, there wasn’t a lot of development done with them. I did like the new Godzilla suit that was used for this movie and the giant alien and Orga monsters were pretty interesting as well. The special effects definitely showed some improvements from the past few years. I think if the story wasn’t so lackluster, then it would have been a better movie.
Rating: 3 out of 5