GODZILLA VS. KONG
Running Time: 113 mins.
Where Can You See It?: In Theaters and on HBO Max (until April 30)
Premise: When Godzilla goes on a rampage, his status as Earth’s protector is in doubt, so a shady corporate bigwig enlists a group of scientists to track down King Kong and have him lead the way to Hollow Earth. There, they can grab a core sample that will help power a weapon against Godzilla. But drawing Kong into the open invites Godzilla’s wrath and the two Alphas engage in an escalating series of battles.
Behind-the-Scenes: This is the fourth entry in Warner Bros.’ “Monsterverse” that began with 2014’s Godzilla. After the disappointing box office returns of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, this was intended to be the final film in the series. But, surprisingly robust box office during the pandemic (it’s already the highest grossing film to be released since March 2020) may make the studio heads revisit that decision.
The Good: Delivers exactly on its epic grudge match premise. The visual effects are fantastic. The monster battles are big, loud, brightly-lit (yay!) and fun, with lots of fist-pumping moments for those who are into this sort of thing. The human characters (all played by talented actors boxing below their weight class) are still annoying and never the strong suit in these monster movies, but their subplots take up less screen time and are not as dull as usual. Director Adam Wingard has a knack for genre flair and keeps up the pacing, while still taking time to revel in some geeky moments.
The Bad: If you got through the plot synopsis above without scratching your head or shaking it in befuddlement, then congrats. The story here is ludicrous, but the filmmakers know that and don’t seem overly concerned with it. A lot of the attempted jokes fall flat – particularly with Brian Tyree Henry’s investigative podcaster. The movie completely wastes the talents of Kyle Chandler and Lance Reddick, who must have had most of their scenes cut.
Should You See It?: Look, the questions you have to ask yourself here are: do you want to see Godzilla vs. Kong, and does this movie feature Godzilla fighting Kong. The answer to the latter is yes, so I have to assume the former is a yes as well. I think this is the most successful of the four Monsterverse films, if only because it’s the most entertaining and unpretentious.
Star Rating: ***1/2 out of 5 stars
Better Than: Kong Skull Island, Godzilla, Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Worse Than: King Kong (2005)
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