Millennium abandons the story line of all of it's predecessors
save for the original 1954 film. The plot deals with two
groups of scientists at odds over whether Godzilla should
be studied or destroyed. Shinoda (Takehiro Murata) and his
daughter Io (Mayu Suzuki) run a "G" network of
scientists who feel it is necessary to learn all they can
about Godzilla and his enormous regenerative abilities.
They are accompanied by a newspaper reporter named Yuki
(Naomi Nishida) who is given very little to do other than
screaming and complaining.
Katagiri (played by a glowering
Hiroshi Abe) works for the government and believes that
Godzilla should be killed for the protection of humanity.
At the same time Shinoda's group is gathering information
on the big "G", Katagiri's group accidentally
awakens an alien called "Orga" who has slumbered
beneath the sea since first crash landing on earth during
prehistoric times. Orga wakes up when it is inadvertently
exposed to sunlight during an exploratory undersea expedition
that was meant to search for new energy resources for Japan.
Once it has gained enough
strength, Orga rises from the sea, first as a shiny UFO
and then later emerges from its vessel taking on several
interesting forms, one of which resembles a Manta Ray. Orga
attempts to permanently adapt to Earth's atmosphere by sampling
Godzilla's regenerative cells and cloning him. This naturally
upsets Godzilla and flames fly.
Godzilla Millennium is an
enjoyable film on many levels, but it is far from great
in both the technical and story departments. Much of the
soundtrack is dead air. The sound effects don't carry enough
weight and the score sounds slapped together with some scenes
having no music where it is desperately needed. Visually,
the film is at best uneven, with many of the daylight shots
exposing poor blue screen work and ineffective CGI integration.
The night scenes in G2K
are much more effective, mostly because they don't use a
lot of CGI. The end fight between the final form of the
alien Orga and 'Zilla is probably the best reason to watch
the film, as it utilizes both excellent miniatures and pyrotechnics.
The film's kaiju designs are another of the film's
successes. This manifestation of Godzilla features a sleeker,
more muscular torso, longer purple dorsal spines and a pugnacious
visage which more than adequately conveys his strength and
personality. He is intelligent and tenacious, though easily
riled. And he apparently loves to have to last roar as evidenced
by his gloating display following the defeat of Orga.
The satisfying conclusion
is improved upon greatly in the spruced up American release
Godzilla 2000. This is the first time a Godzilla
film has been given a wide U.S. theatrical release since
Godzilla 1985 and it's probably the only case where
the American version surpasses the original. It adds the
necessary sound elements, trims the sluggish plot and even
handles the English language dubbing with more respect than
before (though there is the occasional addition of corny
dialogue). In this case, seeking out the American version
of Godzilla Milennium is definitely the preferred
choice. (Magicvoice 2002)