Godzilla 2000

The problem with “Godzilla 2000” is that it’s obviously not good enough to be a genuinely exciting action film, but it’s also not BAD enough to be a “so-bad-it’s-funny” camp-fest.

Forget the 1998 American “Godzilla” (oh, that I could forget it). This is the original Godzilla, from the same Japanese people who made the first 22 “Godzilla” movies, featuring a guy in a rubber suit trashing small-scale models of Tokyo. (How many times has that poor city had to rebuild itself in the last 50 years?) It’s the kind of “Godzilla” movie you fondly remember watching on TV on Saturday afternoons, and that “Mystery Science Theater 3000” heckled at least a half-dozen of.

The plot, as in all “Godzilla” movies, is that Godzilla rises from the sea, apparently not dead after all, and is angry. Then, before he has much of a chance to unleash his fury on all humanity, another monster comes along, which Godzilla has to fight, perhaps because he likes to defend Tokyo, but perhaps also merely as a territorial thing.

The non-Godzilla monster this time is what scientists first believe to be a meteor, crashed at the bottom of the ocean. When they try to bring it to the surface (don’t ask me why they want to do this), it comes to life, behaving much like the UFOs in “Independence Day,” up to and including destroying buildings and people. Turns out it’s an alien vessel, here to suck up Japanese knowledge and technology and make Earth a suitable habitation for its own kind. Godzilla will have none of this, naturally, and the two fight. The end.

All the basic accoutrements of a bad “Godzilla” movie are here: bad dubbing, bad dialogue, cheesy special effects, weird story line — the works. The problem is that there simply isn’t enough of it. The first 20 minutes or so can make you giddy with delight, hearing such lines as, “I guarantee (the missiles) will go through Godzilla like crap through a goose,” badly acted by what must be the cheapest voice actors they could find.

But a movie can only be entertaining with how bad it is for so long. The novelty wears off after a while … and then the movie lasts another hour. One starts to become bored with all the cheesiness, rather than reveling in it. Even for a B-movie, it’s grade C.

C (; PG, mild profanity, rubber monsters hitting.)