Saturday, August 19, 2000
Think about "Godzilla 2000" like you'd think about those naive, folk-art paintings in which the perspective and dimensions are deliberately wrong, in an effort to convey simplicity and purity. Sure, the artists could have put the noses in the right place or made the houses the right size, but they didn't want to.
Sure, the people who made "Godzilla 2000" in Japan last year could have dubbed it better, so that all the characters didn't sound like they were on a '70s cop show, but they didn't want to. Sure, they could have covered up the fact that the "city" Godzilla destroys is obviously a model, but they didn't want to. Sure, they could have spent a little money so Godzilla didn't look like an outsized chew toy, but they didn't want to.
There is a limit to the entertainment value of the deliberately bad, but "Godzilla 2000" stays just on the right side of it, mostly because of the last half-hour. It's a battle between Godzilla and an evil UFO that is trying to take over the city of Shinjuku. Despite the cheesiness of the effects, the battle is fun, and it leads to a howlingly bad finale, capped with what is destined to be the best/worst closing line of the year. You'll probably go for "Godzilla 2000" if you're the sort who cherishes really awful dialogue (a scientist says a new weapon "will go through Godzilla like crap through a goose") and really idiotic situations (a lot of energy is expended trying to spot Godzilla, which is like sending a crack team of scientists into Manhattan to attempt to locate the Statue of Liberty -- people, he's 80 feet tall, and when he takes a step, there's an earthquake. You should be able to find him).
Lametastic entertainment value aside, the movie is about 20 minutes longer than it needs to be, and the actors are about 20 times worse (instead of the crazed facial expressions they adopt, it'd be subtler if they just said, "My face represents anger" or "My face is sad.").
But it's unfair to make too much fun of this Japan-originated "Godzilla." It's not like ours was any good, either.