Film: Godzilla 2000

"But then why? Why does he keep protecting us?"
"Maybe because... Godzilla is inside each one of us."
~ Yuji Shinoda answering Yuki Ichinose's question... while Godzilla sets Tokyo on fire.

Godzilla 2000, known in Japan as "Godzilla 2000: Millennium" (Gojira Nisen: Mireniamu), is the 23rd canonical entry in the long running Godzilla franchise. It is the first film of the third cycle of Godzilla movies, known officially as the "Millennium Series". It is a standalone film and a direct sequel to the original.

Over the years, Japan has been besieged by numerous attacks by Godzilla, so much that Godzilla attacks are basically viewed as a fact of life. The Godzilla Prediction Network (or "GPN"), helmed by Yuji Shinoda and his daughter Io, has been established to try and track Godzilla's movements and predict when he will come ashore. Accompanying them is Yuki Ichinose, a reporter who has been tasked with trying to get information on Godzilla. Shinoda believes Godzilla should be kept alive for study: Mitsuo Katagiri, his academic rival and leader of the Crisis Control Institute (CCI), believes the opposite, that Godzilla is too dangerous to be kept alive, and uses his resources to try and destroy him.

One day, the CCI discovers an enormous rock on the ocean floor and brings it to the surface, where it reacts to the sunlight and becomes mobile. It seeks out Godzilla and engages him in battle, defeating him, though in the process Godzilla burns away its crust with his atomic breath, revealing the rock to be a UFO. When the UFO later flies away and lands in Tokyo, it begins hacking into the city's computers, searching for information on Godzilla for reasons unknown. Meanwhile, Shinoda discovers a unique chemical compound in Godzilla's cells, a medical breakthrough that could justify the monster's existence, while Godzilla himself arrives in Tokyo bay, itching for a rematch with the UFO...

Made in the wake of the 1998 In Name Only American remake, Godzilla 2000 was released in Japan only a year later in order to bring Godzilla back to his roots. The film didn't fare so well at the box office due to a number of problems, such as the sluggish pacing, its uninspired musical score, and the fact that it was ultimately viewed as a blandly typical Godzilla movie, barely distinguishable in tone and content from the Heisei films that preceeded it. Still, it was enough of a success that TriStar found it worthy of a theatrical release outside of Japan. The movie was given a deliberately campy, tongue in cheek Gag Dub reminiscent of the classic Godzilla dubs from the 60s; significant improvements were also made to the film's pacing, sound effects and musical score, including additional Akira Ifukube tracks. Every change to the film was approved in advance by the original director and producers at Toho. These changes ultimately redeemed the film for most viewers, as it was a modest success in North America both critically and financially, though there are still some who prefer the original Japanese version.

Not to be confused with Godzilla (1998) or Godzilla (2014), other Godzilla films which are also identified with their release years on this website for the sake of differentiation despite technically being One Word Titles.

The film provides examples of the following:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Io. Her first lines in the movie are to explain a complicated scientific concept to a woman over twice her age... and then call her an "imbecile" when she doesn't understand. She also runs the business side of GPN and cooks dinner for her father.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The manga version, which is considered the better adaptation. The manga version has a less confusing plot points (Godzilla being caught Orga's mouth than just let Orga "eat him"). Plus, the Millennians are more intellectual aliens than a spaceship-turned-radioactive monster, Godzilla showing how Badass he is when Katagiri's missiles are launched at him (and launching himself spines-first at the Millennian's ship), etc. The Milliennians are pretty much horrifying creatures.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: When Miyasaka tells the CCI that the object they uncovered is a ship from outer space, one of the other guys scoffs at the apparently absurd speculation. Miyasaka responds that it's not much more far-fetched than Godzilla himself.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:Katagiri and Orga. Godzilla seems to be this at first, but is really more of an Anti hero.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The unreleased international dub, in typical post-92 fashion. Touched upon by Mike Schlesinger in the commentary and a few online discussions.
    "Let me put it this way: if the international dub had been even halfway usable, we would not have gone to the time and expense of re-dubbing it. Not just because of the voice work—the dialogue was abominable: Yuki had five different professions and there wasn't a shred of exposition. Toho kindly sent over a subtitle list, and it had scads of info not in the dub, most crucially that Shinoda and Miyasaka were college chums—which made much of the latter's behavior suddenly clear. I had to rewrite almost the entire first reel so the whole darn thing would make sense."
    • The only dialogue that remains in the U.S. dub is this exchange between the two fishermen at the eatery.
    "The damn Teriyaki's cold again."
    "But as long as the beer is cold, who cares?"
    • The equivalent line in the Japanese script is as follows.
    "Recently something's wrong with the sea."
    "So we've got nothing to do but drink. Right, buddy?"
  • Dub Name Change: Organizer G-1 was renamed as Regenerator G-1 in the American version, because Regenerator makes a lot more sense in the context that was being used.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Godzilla himself has one of these moments. After several blasts to Orga do little thanks to its Healing Factor, Orga opens wide to just flat eat Godzilla. Godzilla stares at this spectacle for a moment, then almost nods and dives headfirst into Orga's mouth. There may as well be a Godzilla vs. Gigan style thought bubble over his head: "This is really stupid....but it just might work!"
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: After Orga is destroyed, Katagiri risks his own life, just so he could see Godzilla up close. Even though the others call him Too Dumb to Live, it's hard not to blame him for that. He even takes the time to have One Last Smoke before Godzilla breaks the roof with him on it.
    Katagiri: I've never seen Godzilla this close before.
  • Eat Me: How Godzilla beats Orga.
  • Evil Overlooker: Orga on the above U.S. theatrical poster.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The original U.S. theatrical release featured a corny THE ? END optical, but it was removed for the U.S. home video releases. You can see it intact in all its cheesy glory on the official Spanish subbed tape, though.
  • Feed It a Bomb‎: Godzilla lets Orga half-swallow him and then uses a Nuclear Pulse to kill him from within.
  • Healing Factor: Regenerator G-1.
  • Hey, Wait!: After swapping out the GPN data with Io's homework, Shinoda and Io are about to storm out of the CCI research facility, before Miyasaka stops them... only to tell them the UFO has reappeared.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The Millennians plan to change the oxygen content of the atmosphere to make it suitable for their living conditions, and to possibly wipe out existing life.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Trotted out at the ending with a straight face.
    "But why? Why does he keep protecting us?"
    "Perhaps... because Godzilla is in all of us."
  • Idiot Ball: Orga grabs onto this and holds on for dear life after deciding that the best option available is to let Godzilla stick his head into his mouth. Possibly justified, as its implied the mutation reduced the once intelligent aliens to a dumb brute who's only instinct is to try and transform himself into a Godzilla clone.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Originally, Katagiri only insists that Godzilla must be destroyed before he can cause too much damage. Then he goes straight from that to being willing to blow up a building that still has civilians in it in order to take out the Millenian's ship.
  • Little Professor Dialog: Io's technobabble.
  • Mad Scientist: Lampshaded. When Shinoda realizes his responsibility for the destruction, he actually says, "Oh god, am I one of those mad scientists?"
  • Oh Crap!: Orga has this moment after he realizes that trying to swallow Godzilla wasn't the brightest of ideas. Attentive viewers will note that Orga's eyes actually widen just seconds before he goes kaboom.
  • Painful Transformation: The Millennian construct screams in horror as the Godzilla characteristics of the Regenerator G-1 DNA take over its body.
  • Running Gag: In the American version we have Yuki and the word "imbecile."
    • Katagiriiiii!
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The final scene has a children's choir singing serenely over yet another destructive rampage by Godzilla.
  • Ultimate Lifeform: Orga tries to become this by absorbing Godzilla's DNA and mutating into a hulking behemoth with Godzilla's regenerative powers (Orga is short for "Organizer G-1", the name of the gene that allows Godzilla to heal so quickly). He would've won too, if he hadn't stupidly tried to eat Godzilla and was obliterated by his nuclear pulse.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite all his many MANY faults, Katagiri is just trying to protect his country from Godzilla.
  • You Need a Breath Mint:
    Shinoda: "You stink!" *assistant checks armpits* "No, your breath!"
  • Your Head Asplode: What happens when you try to swallow the business end of a radioactive dinosaur.
  • Your Size May Vary: Some scenes that use Chroma Key manage to make Godzilla's size vary in the same shot as the camera moves.