After the outright disaster that was the American version of Godzilla, Toho studios decided to resurrect their own and try to salvage the franchise. This new film, "Godzilla 2000," would become a movie of firsts for the series. It's not a classic, but a decent if just slight above average entry into the long running series.
Godzilla appears in Japan to take out the countries power sources. The Godzilla Protection Network, headed by Yuji Shinoda (Takehiro Murata), tries to unravel the mystery. Meanwhile, the CCI is working to figure out what exactly is sitting under the ocean encased in rock. Once unearthed, a UFO breaks free and begins a quest to make the planet more livable for itself. The only hope left is Godzilla, but will the CCI headed by Shinoda's rival Kutagiri (Hiroshi Abe) destroy him first?
The day this movie made it's way into US theaters (the first time in 15-years a Godzilla film has done so), I managed to see it four times. The manager was baffled by my visit the second time around and just stood in stunned silence the final time. In case you haven't figured this out yet, I'm a huge fan of this series.
Five years does a lot to a movie of course. The initial adrenaline rush of the theatrical release has worn off and the time is right to look back. This was the first film in the series to employ numerous CG shots, including a completely rendered scene of Godzilla swimming underwater. The US release has been trimmed (mostly for the better) and re-edited, but the dubbing ruins everything.
Supervised by Michael Schlesinger who is a longtime fan (and supplies the commentary on this DVD), some of the dialogue should have obviously been cut. Lines like "Did you just see that giant rock fly by?" are just terrible. There are a few pop-culture references that are fine, but when the actors speaking them are beyond awful (Katagiri especially), it doesn't work. The edits made are fine and benefit the movie, but this should have been released with subtitles.