Godzilla vs. Kong

Warner Brothers' new MonsterVerse film franchise fascinates me in its order. Starting with 2014's underwhelming "Godzilla," then moving on to 2016's entertaining "Kong: Skull Island" and 2019's ridiculous "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," you never knew what you'd get. The one thing audiences knew was that a battle of titans was coming, and at the time, that was more than enough. Now enter the epic conclusion of this franchise, "Godzilla vs. Kong," and what do you get? The short answer is the most entertaining one of the entire bunch. Our story follows Godzilla, as he mysteriously starts attacking facilities all over the world. This leads a group of scientists (Alexander Skarsgard and Rebecca Hall), funded by an enigmatic billionaire (Demian Bichir), to find the only other King to stop Godzilla, Kong. Meanwhile, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown), her friend Josh (Julian Dennison), and a crazy titan conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry), out on their adventure to find out why Godzilla is on the attack.

If you read that overlong synopsis and started to scratch your head, I don't blame you. The draw of this monster movie franchise has never once been the humans. Their only purpose is to bridge the enormous gaps between what everyone wants to see: monster fights! Director Adam Wingard makes the fights the focal point of the film. They're both exciting and engaging, but the standout element is how both Kong and Godzilla are given their own style. In their own way, each titan is a force of nature, and Wingard knows exactly how to give them a moment to shine. It's what audiences love about these characters, and it's delivered in just about every sense of the word. The fight sequences have a raw and visceral energy that doesn't rely on the score to tell us how to feel.

The flipside of the coin is the lackluster human elements that stories like this need to have. Actors like Hall and Skarsgard thankfully have a clear understanding of what their purpose in the film is. Here the humans serve as nothing more than connective tissue to lead us to the next monster fight. Narratively, the elements of heroes versus villains go just about how you'd expect. The villains have some convoluted master plan (that ends in an evil speech), and the heroes share quips. It's nothing you haven't seen before, and its delivery is what audiences are used to in this sort of film. The tricky balance gives us just enough expository scenes to let the dialogue get us to the next fight. The only massive problem on display here comes from one subplot involving Millie Bobby Brown.

No one will ever deny that Brown is a bad actress, and some may consider her great. In a film such as massive in scale and spectacle, her role feels like nothing more than a studio putting in the popular "young star." Her entire plot with Dennison and Henry feels unnecessary to the overall meat of the story. If this plot were removed, it wouldn't do anything to change the overarching narrative. It plays like absolutely nothing more than to try and attract a younger audience which doesn't work. Clocking in at just under two hours, the film has a great pace. That one storyline feels like nothing more than a quota having to be met to attract a younger audience.

"Godzilla vs. Kong" delivers on all of the goodies that audiences will expect going in. The fights are thrilling and have phenomenal energy, which can hook an audience right in. Alexander Skarsgard and Rebecca Hall's story guides us swiftly to the following action sequence, whereas Millie Bobby Brown gets us stuck on the tracks. It's a slight quibble, but one that still felt like nothing but studio notes. Thankfully the monster fights are more than enough to split the narrative human difference. If you see it at home on HBOMax or in the theater, "Godzilla vs. Kong" delivers on the blockbuster entertainment we've been missing.

Rating: 7/10

Watch The Trailer Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odM92ap8_c0

(1) comment

eyeswideopen

You just know this is going to be a fun summer movie. I read "Jaws" before I ever saw the movie, was so pleased they pared all the human interest junk from it before they shot it. Would not be the blockbuster it was if they hadn't cut it out. Now it seems they feel like they HAVE to have the human flotsam (forgive the pun) in the movie. Not THIS kind of movie!

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