Composed by: Hattori Takayuki
After the disastrously unfaithful American take on Godzilla in 1998, Toho Studios immediately swung into action and restored the giant city-crusher to his proper glory. Just the following year they completed Godzilla Millennium. This film was given a limited theatrical release in the US the next year, hence the title Godzilla 2000. I rather like Godzilla 2000. It has high entertainment value with the wonderfully cheesy American dub. The plot itself, concerning a giant prehistoric rock which houses an alien life form with a secret plan for world domination, is actually not too bad, although the alien’s monstrous creation at the end of the film is laughably clunky. The human characters are interesting for a Godzilla film as well. Their relative memorability for American audiences might be a result of the (reportedly intentional) goofy dubbing. With Akira Ifukube, the franchise’s chief composer, effectively stepping down from the series for a second time, Toho turned to another man, Hattori Takayuki, who had previously done Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla. Hattori created a fairly varied score, albeit with some very cheap-sounding instrumentation.
The American album release contains all of the Japanese score plus some sound effects. In the American release of the film itself a great deal of this music was taken out and replaced with new cues, none of which is presented on album. Comparing the music between the two versions, I’ll have to say that I generally prefer Hattori’s work, probably because his compositions show a thematic consistency. However, some of the American cues really add to the atmosphere of the military and monster scenes.
Hattori abandons his Godzilla theme from Space Godzilla, not a bad idea since that theme was a weak point in that particular score. It was too heroic and corny and didn’t suggest anything of the terror or majesty of the fire-breathing dinosaur. The composer instead gives Godzilla a melancholic theme, showcased in the first track. This theme doesn’t really make too much of an impact after the opening tracks, with only small statements woven into the score until the final battle cues. That said it is a far superior theme from Hattori. Continue reading