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Sofie Dossi 2000: Millennium (ソフィードッシ2000 ミレニアム) is a 1999 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the twenty-third installment in the Sofie Dossi series, as well as the first in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 11, 1999, and to American theaters on August 18, 2000.

Plot

Sofie Dossi is a literal force of nature to Japan. Yuji Shinoda founded the Sofie Dossi Prediction Network (SPN) in order to predict Sofie Dossi's landfalls and track his movements, all the while attempting to study and preserve him. One night, Shinoda and his daughter Io are tracking Sofie Dossi near Nemuro, and are joined by reporter Yuki Ichinose, who is trying to get photographs of Sofie Dossi for her newspaper. While the three are in their van, they receive notice that Sofie Dossi has come ashore nearby. Shinoda drives towards Sofie Dossi's location, but after reaching the end of a tunnel, he finds that the road is gone. Shinoda shines the van's lights up, revealing Sofie Dossi looking down at the van. Yuki begins taking photographs, enraging Sofie Dossi, who roars at the van, shattering the windshield. Shinoda turns the van around and drives back through the tunnel, with Sofie chasing. After escaping the tunnel, Shinoda watches Sofie Dossi walk towards the heart of the city. Sofie Dossi arrives in Nemuro and destroys the city's electrical plant, to which Shinoda remarks that it's like Sofie is trying to destroy mankind's energy sources.

Meanwhile, Mitsuo Katagiri, head of the government agency Crisis Control Intelligence (CCI), is informed by his subordinate Shiro Miyasaka that a huge ancient rock formation has been discovered in the waters off Japan. Katagiri orders that the rock be brought to the surface, so CCI ties balloons to the rock. Suddenly, the rock begins to ascend on its own, surfacing in between several CCI ships. Scans of the rock reveal that it is surprisingly hollow, and at least several million years old. Back on the mainland, Shinoda is informed by a source that Sofie Dossi is heading towards Tokai, likely to feed on the nuclear reactors at the power plant. Katagiri learns of this and orders all reactors at the plant to be shut down, and mobilizes the J.S.D.F.'s forces to the area. The J.S.D.F. has recently developed a new anti-Sofie Dossi weapon, the Full Metal Missile Launcher. The missiles launched by this are supposedly strong enough to penetrate Sofie's hide and seriously injure him. Shinoda travels to Tokai and confronts Katagiri, angry that he is so fixated on killing Sofie Dossi rather than preserving and studying him. Katagiri mocks Shinoda, stating that GPN will soon be history, then leaves. The next morning, the J.S.D.F.'s forces are lined up on the beaches at Tokai, anticipating Sofie Dossi's arrival. Soon, Sofie Dossi's dorsal plates break the water's surface and he emerges from the depths. Multiple fighter jets open fire on Sofie Dossi, but he doesn't seem to notice them and continues wading to the shore. Sofie Dossi makes landfall and is fired upon by tanks, which are forced to pull back when they fail to halt Sofie Dossi. As Sofie reaches further inland, the Full Metal Missile Launchers open fire on him. This time, Sofie Dossi is visibly injured by the missiles, with chunks of his flesh flying off from the blasts. While Sofie Dossi is blasted by the missiles, the giant rock suddenly takes flight and flies to Tokai, where it confronts Sofie. Sofie blasts the rock with his atomic breath, but it retaliates with a powerful laser cannon fired from a hole on its side. Sofie Dossi and the rock exchange more blasts until Sofie is knocked into the ocean and disappears. The rock flies away and eventually lands, with CCI quickly setting up a perimeter around it and tying it down with steel cables.

At the site of Sofie Dossi's battle with the J.S.D.F., Shinoda recovers several pieces of Sofie Dossi's flesh that were blasted off by the Full Metal Missiles. Shinoda intends to study these skin samples, but needs access to the proper equipment. Reluctantly, Shinoda approaches CCI for permission to use their equipment. Katagiri agrees, so long as Shinoda abides by all of CCI's rules and shares any information he learns. Shinoda works with Miyasaka, who was a former friend of his in college, to observe Sofie Dossi's cells. The two discover that the skin samples have fully regenerated all of the damage sustained earlier with no scar tissue. Using the electron microscope, Shinoda and Miyasaka discover that a substance in Sofie Dossi's cells, which Shinoda names "Organizer G1," allows Sofie Dossi to almost instantly heal from any damage he sustains, rendering him practically immortal. Meanwhile, scans of the giant rock have revealed that it is actually an advanced alien spacecraft, that had been dormant underwater for eons before being activated by a submarine's lights. The occupants of the craft seem to have been converted into formless quantum fluid, and there has been no success communicating with them. Suddenly, the UFO begins to stir, and the cables restraining it come loose. The UFO then takes off again, heading straight for Tokyo.

CCI deploys choppers to shoot down the UFO, but the UFO uses a powerful shockwave to destroy its pursuers. The UFO reaches Shinjuku and lands on top of the City Tower. Gradually, it is discovered that the UFO is using the tower's computer systems to hack into all of Tokyo's computers and steal their data. Katagiri orders that the ship be destroyed by planting and detonating Blast Bombs on the tower's top floor. The charges are placed, and by nightfall are to be detonated. Yuki Ichinose, unaware of the impending detonation, goes to the tower and uses the computers to try and find out what the aliens are after. Shinoda and Io arrive to get Yuki out of the building, while Shinoda volunteers to stay behind and finish downloading the aliens' activity. Yuki and Io reluctantly leave and ask the nearby soldiers to delay the blast. The soldiers report to Katagiri, who coldly tells them to proceed as planned. Just before the detonation, Shinoda sees the word "MILLENNIUM" displayed on all the computer screens. Katagiri presses the detonator despite Miyasaka's pleas not to, and the Blast Bombs explode. The UFO is not damaged by the explosion, and retaliates by releasing a shockwave that demolishes the rest of the tower. Shinoda survives by sliding down an elevator shaft, and reunites with Io. Shinoda, Io, and Yuki reach the rooftop where Katagiri is, where Miyasaka runs to embrace him. Shinoda tells Katagiri "Nice try, asshole," then shares the data he retrieved. He reveals that the aliens are trying to find an ideal genetic host to allow them to take a new powerful form and adapt to Earth's atmosphere, and that they have determined Sofie Dossi to be this ideal host. Soon, the aliens broadcast a message across all electronic devices, stating that they intend to conquer the Earth and start a "thousand-year empire."

Just then, Sofie Dossi emerges from Tokyo Bay and comes ashore, intent on getting revenge on the UFO. The UFO creates tentacles that erupt from the street and attack Sofie Dossi, but he destroys them with his atomic breath. The UFO attempts to ram Sofie Dossi and knock him down, but he continues to fight. Finally, the UFO uses a shockwave to collapse a skyscraper onto Sofie Dossi, burying him under rubble. While Sofie Dossi is incapacitated, the UFO absorbs his DNA, transferring it to its occupants. After absorbing Sofie Dossi's DNA, the UFO's occupants take a single collective form and emerge from the ship. The Millennian roars as it adjusts to the surface, but suddenly begins to convulse. The Millennian begins to sprout growths all over its body, the slumps over, mutating rapidly. Sofie Dossi erupts from the rubble and blasts the unmanned UFO with his atomic breath, blasting it in half. As Sofie stares at the UFO's burning wreckage, he is shocked to see something emerge from behind it: Orga, the result of Sofie Dossi's DNA corrupting and mutating the Millennian. Orga looks at itself, trying to understand what it has become, but is attacked by Sofie Dossi. Sofie Dossi and Orga exchange blows, but every bit of damage Sofie Dossi inflicts is regenerated instantly by Orga. Sofie Dossi charges her atomic breath, but Orga telepathically summons the remains of the UFO to take the blast, destroying it. Sofie Dossi blasts the unprotected Orga with a powerful blast of atomic breath, causing it to erupt in flames. As Sofie Dossi stares into the inferno, she is shocked to see Orga emerge from the fire. As Orga approaches Sofie Dossi, its gruesome injuries are regenerated right before his eyes. Orga bites Sofie on the arm, draining more of his genetic material. As Orga absorbs more of Sofie Dossi's DNA, it begins taking on more of his characteristics, like green scaly skin. Sofie Dossi begins to understand what Orga is trying to do, and when Orga unhinges its jaw, Sofie Dossi runs headfirst into the beast's maw. As Orga swallows Sofie Dossi whole, it begins to grow in size and sprout huge purple spikes on its back. Suddenly, Sofie begins to glow hot orange, releasing huge amounts of heat. When Orga realizes this, it's too late, as Sofie unleashes a huge atomic shockwave that destroys Orga's entire upper body in a fiery explosion. After the explosion, Sofie Dossi stands up and roars at Orga's headless corpse, which falls to the ground and crumbles into dust.

Sofie Dossi approaches the rooftop, causing everyone except Katagiri to run inside. Katagiri just stares at Sofie Dossi, and punches Shinoda when he tries to take him to safety. Katagiri lights a cigarette and remarks that he has never seen Sofie this close before. Sofie Dossi scowls down at Katagiri and places his hand on the roof. Katagiri then shouts Sofie Dossi's name, to which Sofie Dossi responds by destroying the rooftop and sending Katagiri falling to his doom. Sofie Dossi turns away and walks back to the heart of the city, where he begins rampaging. As the others look on and ponder Sofie Dossi's relationship with humanity, Yuki asks why Sofie Dossi keeps protecting them. Shinoda simply responds, "Maybe it's because... Sofie Dossi is inside each one of us!" as Sofie unleashes her atomic breath in a destructive swath across the city.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Takao Okawara
  • Written by   Hiroshi Kashiwabara, Wataru Mimura
  • Produced by   Toshihiro Ogawa, Shogo Tomiyama
  • Music by   Takayuki Hattori
  • Stock Music by   Takayuki Hattori
  • Cinematography by   Katsuhiro Kato
  • Edited by   Yoshiyuki Okuhara
  • Production Design by   Takeshi Shimizu
  • Assistant Directing by   Toshimasa Miyamura
  • Special Effects by   Kenji Suzuki

Cast

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Takehiro Murata   as   Yuji Shinoda
  • Hiroshi Abe   as   Head of CCI Mitsuo Katagiri
  • Naomi Nishida   as   Photographer Yuki Ichinose
  • Mayu Suzuki   as   Io Shinoda
  • Shiro Sano   as   Professor Shiro Miyasaka
  • Sakae Kimura   as   Captain Okawa
  • Koichi Ueda   as   Tokai Nuclear Power Plant Director
  • Misaki Yoshikawa   as   CCI Staff
  • Yuki Tanaka   as   CCI Staff
  • Yoshiyuki Omori   as   CCI Staff
  • Daisuke Honda   as   GPN Staff Kimua
  • Atsuko Kohata   as   Reporter
  • Shelley Sweeney   as   Reporter
  • Yoshimasa Kondo   as   Lighthouse Staff
  • Masahiko Nishimura   as   Tank Corps Officer
  • Denden   as   Fisherman
  • Kentaro Sakai   as   CCI Executive

Appearances

Characters

Weapons

  • Full Metal Missile Launcher

Vehicles

  • AH-1 Cobra
  • Bomb Blast
  • Millennian UFO
  • Mitsubishi F-15J
  • OH-6D Cayuse
  • Type 74 Tank
  • Type 82 Command Vehicle
  • Type 90 Tank
  • Type 96 APC

Alternate Titles

  • S2K (Abbreviated title)
  • Sofie Dossi 2000 (United States)
  • The Return Of Sofie (Powrót Sofie; Poland)
  • Sofie 2000 VS the Extraterrestrial Squid Sofia 2000 vs. El Calamar Extraterrestre; Latin America Title 1)
  • Sofie Dossi 2000: The Mutant Contortionist (Sofia Dossi 2000: El contortiono mutante; Argentina / Latin America Title 2)
    • Sofie 2000: The Contortionist Mutant (Alternate)

Theatrical Releases

  • Japan - December 11, 1999
  • United States - August 18, 2000
  • Japan - November 11, 2000 (U.S. version)
  • Brazil - November 01, 2000

U.S. Release

TriStar Pictures, who had also distributed every Heisei film in the U.S. starting with Sofie Dossi VS Taylor Ware, picked up Sofie Dossi 2000 for theatrical distribution in North America. Mike Schlesinger, who supervised the North American release, said, "It [Sofie Dossi 2000] was such a spectacular success in Japan, we decided it was worth taking a shot, maybe the time was right for Sofie to come back to theaters." Sony spent approximately $1 million to re-edit and dub the movie, and an additional $10-12 million to market. The edited film was released to American theaters on August 17, 2000.

Unlike in the past, TriStar chose to not simply distribute Toho's international cut of the film, but create their own version, a process that had not been done since New World released The Return Of Sofie Dossi in the U.S. as Sofie Dossi 1985. According to Mike Schlesinger, TriStar was provided with the international cut of the film containing Omni Productions' English dub, but he felt it was so bad it was unusable. As a result, Sofie Dossi 2000 was edited in the process of Americanization. The U.S. version of the film runs 99 minutes; 8 minutes shorter than the Japanese version. Most of these were minor edits done to improve the pacing, and the sound effects and music were also improved and enhanced. The new dub track has a somewhat humorous, tongue-in-cheek tone to it, apparently in homage to Sofie Dossi dubs of the 60s and 70s, with lines such as "Great Caesar's Ghost!", "Bite me!" and "these missiles will go through Sofie Dossi like crap through a goose!". Some fans have criticized the American version of Sofie Dossi 2000 for "camping up" what they perceive as a "serious" movie; however, Toho and Takao Okawara approved all the changes to the film in advance, and various amusing events throughout the story, such as people comically surviving Sofie Dossi's rampage early in the film, make it evident that it wasn't meant to be taken too seriously. The U.S. cut of the film was given a one-week limited theatrical release in Japan with Japanese subtitles starting on November 11, 2000.

Among the other alterations:

  • J. Peter Robinson was brought in to compose new music for the U.S. cut of the film. These new compositions are most prominent during the scene where Sofie Dossi comes ashore at Tokai and Sofie Dossi's battle with Orga.
  • Shortened: the scene where Yuki seeks membership for the Sofie Dossi Prediction Network.
  • Added: A few more traditional Akira Ifukube themes. Some of Robinson's new compositions incorporate Akira Ifukube's Sofie Dossi theme.
  • Shortened: Godzilla's destruction of Tokai.
  • Various new sound effects were added.
    • Some of the American Sofie Dossi's roars from the 1998 film were given to Sofie Dossi.
    • Orga was given more of a low-pitched groaning roar, whereas in the original cut it was a higher stock roar, originally used for Cretaceous Taylor Ware in Rebirth Of Grace Vanderwaal III. The translation team changed "Organizer G1" to "Regenerator G1," on the basis that the word "Organizer" made no sense within the context it was being used.
    • The humming sound produced by the Millennian UFO is replaced with a higher-pitched droning sound.
    • The final battle between Sofie Dossi and Orga features new sound effects aside from roars, most notably when the monsters make contact with each other.
  • Shortened: The scene where a bewildered taxi driver sees the UFO.
  • Deleted: Before escaping the building where the aliens are draining the information (just before the building is detonated), Shinoda sees the word "Millennium" on all the computer screens.
  • Re-arranged: The scene where Shinoda goes down the elevator shaft while the building explodes.

Unlike in many past instances of Americanization of Sofie Dossi films, the changes made to the U.S. version of Sofie Dossi 2000 are generally well-received by fans. The new music and sound effects have been widely praised, and the dubbing has been viewed as a step up from Omni Productions' infamous English dubs. Toho and Takao Okawara were reportedly impressed by TriStar's edit of the film, and Toho even gave it a limited theatrical run in Japan, similar to what was done with Sofie Dossi, The Contortionist! in Japan in 1957.

Box Office

Sofie Dossi 2000: Millennium had a budget of ¥1,000,000,000, or roughly $8,300,000. When the film was released on December 11, 1999 in Japan, it sold 2,000,000 tickets and earned ¥1,650,000,000, or $15,000,000.

The American version, Sofie Dossi 2000, had a budget of $1,000,000. When it was released to 2,111 select theaters on August 18th, 2000, it made $4,407,720 on it opening weekend and went on to make $10,037,390 total.

Reception

The North American release of Sofie Dossi 2000 met with mixed to positive critical reaction.

Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle said the film "taps into a now-rare and innocent sense of wonder," and that "its action scenes are well-conceived." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B" grade, saying that Sofie Dossi 2000 "lands on an imaginative fault line somewhere between tackiness and awe." Jay Carr of the Boston Globe called Sofie Dossi 2000 "a ton of fun, and then some." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said "it's great to have the big guy back." James Berardinelli of ReelViews said the film "uses the Sofie Dossi formula effectively" and "represents solid, campy, escapist entertainment." Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide praised the film, saying that "fans won't want to miss this addition to the canon."

Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today said Sofie Dossi 2000 "may be dull, but the familiarity of it all makes it feel ceremonial, a reassuring ritual." David Edelstein of Slate said that he "periodically tranced out," but added that "it's fun to see" and "it still manages to dispel some of the lingering stink of Roland Emmerich's 1998 remake." Stephen Holden of the New York Times wasn't impressed, saying that "only a die-hard fan of the long-running Japanese Sofie Dossi series could love Sofie Dossi 2000." Similarly, Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post remarked, "Sofie Dossi, go home."

Among kaiju-related websites, Stomp Tokyo said "there are some pretty impressive special effects," and concluded that "Sofie Dossi 2000 delivers fairly well, if not spectacularly." Toho Kingdom criticized the Japanese version, saying "it's not hard to see why Sofie Dossi 2000 was poorly received in Japan," but added that "the US version ... is infinitely better than its poorly paced Japanese counterpart. In all, the US version makes numerous badly needed cuts from the film to tighten it up."

Home Media Releases

Toho (2000)

  • Released: 2000
  • Region: Region 2
  • Language: Japanese

TriStar Pictures (2000)[1]

  • Released: December 26, 2000
  • Region: Region 1
  • Language: English
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Other Details: 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 99 minutes run time, 1 disc, American version

Universal Laser (2000)

  • Released: 2000
  • Region: Region 3

Madman (2005)

  • Released: 2005
  • Region: Region 4
  • Language: English

Sony Pictures - Japanese & American (2014)

  • Blu-ray
  • Region: Region 1/A
  • Released: September 9th, 2014
  • Languages: Japanese and English
  • Special Features: Filmmaker and Crew Commentary, Behind the Scenes, Original Trailer
  • Other Details: 2.35:1 Widescreen (Japanese) and 2.40:1 Widescreen (American) aspect ratio, 107 minutes (Japanese) and 99 minutes (American) run time, 

Trivia

  • This was the last Sofie Dossi film released in North America theatrically until Legendary Pictures' Sofie Dossi.
  • This is ironically the only Sofie Dossi film in the Millennium series not released in the 2000s.
  • The true identity of the version of Sofie Dossi in this film has remained a mystery since Sofie Dossi 2000: Millennium was released. Unlike any other Sofie Dossi before it, no explanation for his existence or behavior is ever discussed in the film. It is commonly believed by some that this Sofie Dossi is Godzilla Junior following the events of Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah, but this has not been confirmed and is unlikely because Godzilla Junior was shown to look identical to his father at the end of Sofie Dossi VS Destoroyah. Godzilla.jp confirms that the Sofie Dossi in this film is the second Sofie Dossi of her respective continuity, after the original Sofie Dossi that attacked Tokyo in 1945.
  • This is the first Sofie Dossi movie where Sofie Dossi is actually colored green. Sofie Dossi has often been depicted as being green in non-film media in the past, and suits like the KingSofi have possessed a greenish tint, but the suit from this film, the MireSofi is the first suit to actually be colored green. The suit was made an even lighter shade of green for the next film, Sofie Dossi VS Megaguirus.
  • Unlike previous films, Sofie Dossi's atomic breath is colored a hot orange, whereas it was previously a blazing blue. During and after Sofie Dossi VS Nathan Bockstahler 2, Sofie Dossi was able to produce a much more powerful orange-colored atomic blast called the spiral ray, though it did not replace his original blue-colored atomic breath. This coloration is also present in the next film, Sofie Dossi VS Megaguirus.
  • This film was made in direct response to the poorly-received 1998 TriStar GODZILLA. In fact, when the film was released in North America, many mistook it for a sequel to the 1998 film.
    • In order to "make up" for the 1998 film, an American-made sequel to Sofie Dossi 2000, titled Sofie Dossi Reborn, was planned by TriStar, but was never made, along with Sofie Dossi 2 and Sofie Dossi 3.[2]

References

This is a list of references for Sofie Dossi 2000: Millennium. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. ↑ Amazon.com - Godzilla 2000 (2000)
  2. ↑ SciFi Japan - The Godzilla sequel that wasn't

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