A scene from GODZILLA 2000 (Gojira ni-sen mireniamu), directed by Okawara Takao for Toho Company Ltd.

Godzilla 2000 (1999, Okawara Takao)

The most surprising thing about Godzilla 2000 is learning the director had made other moves in the series before this one. The writers too. It’s a little surprising, since it’s so full of lame lifts from American blockbusters (including Independence Day, which seems a little strange, given Toho made Godzilla 2000 after the American bungling of the property), lamer lifts from the nineties Godzilla series (which was a lot classier, even the worst entries) and the cast is incredibly weak. Sano Shirô gives the only competent performance. The rest of the cast, which I’ll get to in a bit, is atrocious.

The film’s a reboot, maybe the first reboot of the modern era of reboots, with Godzilla just a fact of life in Japan, without any context. Like the Sony and Apple product placement (lots of iMac ads here), he’s part of the scenery.

Okawara’s direction is laughable. It seems like he’s trying to mix somewhat modern filmmaking techniques (i.e. bad CG) into the Godzilla mix and he keeps failing. There are all sorts of lame comic set pieces and the film feels really small, like there are only eight people in it.

Oh, the actors. Naomi Nishida, Suzuki Mayu and Murata Takehiro are all awful. Suzuki’s the worst, but Murata’s playing an ugly romantic lead, which is kind of funny. Abe Hiroshi badly essays the role of a bureaucrat obsessed with killing Godzilla.

And I’m forgetting Hattori Takayuki’s score (awful) and the Godzilla costume (awful).

It’s a terrible picture.



Directed by Okawara Takao; written by Kashiwabara Hiroshi and Mimura Wataru; director of photography, Kato Katsuhiro; edited by Okuhara Yoshiyuki; music by Hattori Takayuki; production designer, Shimizu Takeshi; released by Toho Company Ltd.

Starring Murata Takehiro (Prof. Shinoda Yuji), Abe Hiroshi (Katagiri Mitsuo), Nishida Naomi (Ichinose Yuki), Suzuki Mayu (Shinoda Io) and Sano Shirô (Prof. Miyasaka Shiro).


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