2020 is just around the corner and a new decade is on its way – New Years Eve is a time to look back at what we have accomplished in that time in our personal lives and how the world has progressed in general. Here on SSZee Media, we love to honour the accomplishments in all things entertainment so until the New Year hits, we’ll be doing a breakdown of what each year in the past twenty years has given us in terms of film and any other momebts of note within the industry.
In no particular order, let’s break down five films that had a significant impact on the year 2000.
Mission: Impossible 2, John Woo
Mission: Impossible 2 is the sequel to the action franchise which has been a stable favourite for fans across the past twenty years. Continuing the story of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), the film was released in May of 2000 and eventually won the title of the highest grossing film of 2000. It held this title until 2011 which shows just how much of an impact the sequel had to the industry. However, the reviews were mixed as it was mostly praised for the action sequences, the direction by John Woo and the score by Hans Zimmer but slated for the general plot, dialogue and overall pacing of the film. The New York Post‘s review by Lou Lumenick said of the film, “Check your brains at the popcorn stand and hang on for a spectacular ride.”
Gladiator, Ridley Scott
Gladiator is the historical drama which was inspired by Daniel P. Mannix’s book Those About To Die which became one of those see-it-before-you-die films when it hit the silver screen in May of 2000. It tells the story of Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) who is betrayed, has his family killed and falls to slavery. However, as he works his way up through the ranks of the gladiators, he seeks his revenge against the murderers who destroyed his life. Despite the resonance it has had within modern day society, it was only the fourth highest grossing film of 2000. However, the word of the Academy said it all when it won five different awards – Best Picture, Crowe for Best Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Sound and Best Visual Effects. Are you not entertained?
Cast Away, Robert Zemeckis
Cast Away is the survival drama film which tells the story of a man who was aptly cast away following a plane crash. It arrived right at the tail end of the year when it was released in December of 2000. The story of the stranded FedEx employee Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) touched the hearts of the audience, creating iconic scenes and ruining the name ‘Wilson’ for everyone who hears it. It was a success globally and Hanks’ performance was one to be remembered. He was nominated for Best Actor but lost to Crowe. However, the impact of the film continued long after it left the cinemas as it was the inspiration for the ABC show Lost which also went on to be a success – even if people were angry at the ending.
Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe
Almost Famous is the comedy-drama film which is semi-autobiographical for the director as he was a teenager writer for Rolling Stone. The plot centers around a teenage journalist who writes for the magazine and is desperate to get his first cover story published for all the world to see. Released in September of 2000, the story of William Miller (Patrick Fugit) was an unexpected hit which still holds sway today according to a poll taken by the BBC in 2016 which named it the 79th best film since 2000. It received four Academy Awards nominations and won for Best Original Screenplay.
Erin Brockovich, Steven Soderbergh
From semi-autobiographical to biographical, Erin Brockovich is the adapation of the life of the title character who entered into a legal battle against Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a large energy mogul when she finds not everything is as it should be when it comes to their health and safety plans. Even though it isn’t one of our highest grossing on the list, it was well received; especially the lead performance by Julia Roberts. Executives within Universal Studios were concerned, however, that the use of profanity by Erin would put audiences off but this wasn’t the case. The New York Observer‘s review by Andrew Sarris said of the film, “We get the best of independent cinema and the best of mainstream cinema all in one package. Erin Brockovich, like Wonder Boys right before it, makes the year 2000 seem increasingly promising for movies.” It certainly was a promising year.
Other honourable mentions of films that landed onto our screens in 2000 include:
- What Women Want, Nancy Meyers. This romantic comedy with a twist had a low budget of $70 million but made an incredible $374 million. It was later followed up with a loose remake/sequel What Men Want in 2019.
- Dinosaur, Ralph Zondag and Eric Leighton. This computer animated adventure film by Disney tells the story of a dinosaur who was raised by lemurs and has to look for a new home when his childhood home is destroyed. It was praised for its work in combining animation and live action footage – the dinosaurs were obviously all animated but most of the backgrounds were filmed live.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Ron Howard. This Christmas childhood favourite with Jim Carrey as the grumpy green lead was the first Dr. Seuss book to be adapted into a feature length film. It is one of the highest grossing Christmas films of all time and won the Academy Award for Best Makeup.
- Meet the Parents, Jay Roach. This comedy remake starring Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller unwravels the dreaded moment when you meet the parents in a new relationship. It also became the first of a small franchise as two sequels have since been released.
- The Perfect Storm, Wolfgang Petersen. This disaster film tells the true story of the Andrea Gail, a fishing vessel which became lost at sea when it was caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991. Starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, the film had mixed reviews but was nominated for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound but had to bow to Gladiator which won both instead. If that wasn’t enough, the film was also sued by the families of two of the crew members when they stated that their names were used without permission. However, the case was later dismissed.
What was your favourite film of 2000? Let us know in the comments and we’ll see you in 2001!