Godzilla 2000 [1999]

Gaaaaaaaargh! The guy in the rubber suit is back with a vengeance. Godzilla's back in the nurturing hands of Toho Studios, and they've beefed up the big beast with more highly developed spinal fins, resembling large crystals, and more menacing teeth. But he's the same guy in the rubber suit who smashes Tokyo's buildings and cars and dukes it out in larger-than-life smackdowns with the universe's monstrous villains. The plot is familiar to anyone who was a 12-year-old boy: Godzilla erupts from the sea for reasons that are never made clear, proceeds to wreak havoc amongst the buildings of a model city, and meets and beats a monster his own size, thus saving humanity. His nemesis this time around is a 600-foot-long rock that scientists find at the bottom of the ocean and unwisely bring to the surface, where it proves to be an alien spacecraft bent on acquiring Godzilla's regenerative abilities. "A visitor from outer space?" exclaims one of the scientists, "My god, it's just too crazy to believe!" To which the lead scientist responds, "Right, like Godzilla's normal. Anyway, it's my theory that..." The film is thoroughly entertaining, and not just for the breathtaking sequences of destruction that follow Godzilla's emergence and his battles with the alien space monster. These do have a preternatural beauty. But the human story, if you can call it that, holds your interest due to the shear preponderance of improbabilities it generates. You laugh at the "mistakes"--assuming they weren't planted there as amiable self-deprecation. --Jim Gay

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