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Godzilla Millennium
"Gee, I'm cute."

The big guy in Godzilla Milennium (US Title: Godzilla 2000).
AKA: Godzilla 2000 (U.S. Title)
Year: 1999
Director: Takao Okawara
Producer: Toshihiro Ogawa, Shogo Tomiyama
SFX: Kenji Suzuki
Cast: Takehiro Murata, Hiroshi Abe, Naomi Nishida, Mayu Suzuki
The Skinny: While a group of scientists struggle to learn more about Godzilla, an ancient crash-landed UFO reawakens and attempts to use Godzilla's regenerative cells to adapt to earth's atmosphere. It transforms into kaiju Orga and squares off against Godzilla in a nighttime showdown. Released in the United States as Godzilla 2000.

     Godzilla 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)


Region 1 NTSC
Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
English dub track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
Theatrical Trailers

image courtesy of Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen