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Godzilla vs. Kong
Year : 2021
Country : United-States

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DokBrowne  [ 7.0 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

At the risk of sounding ungrateful to a thrill ride picture that checks so many of my movie-craving boxes (monsters, fun, full use of a big budget, cinematic spectacle, brazen abuse of logic/realism in favor of momentum and iconography), this stuff gets monotonous after a while, and the well-documented failings this franchise showed across the past 3 movies and 7 years, which I won’t bother renumerating here, have not been fixed. Even while drinking in the colorful immensity of several different landscapes (including a special unlocked level for fans of Doug McClure flicks like "At the Earth's Core" and "The Land That Time Forgot") and noticing the extra effort made to jack up the gymnastic virtual camera moves during all the fight scenes with the viewer's POV often attached to creatures and fixtures so we tilt and whirl and glide and soar right along with them in what can better be described as a sizzle reel to investors for building a MonsterVerse theme park ride somewhere in the near future (creative, but disorienting), even with all the gleeful nonsense the movie dips into and Adam Wingard sneaking in those throbbing '80s synth score beats he used for "The Guest", I was still distracted by nitpicking thoughts like:

- so Godzilla and Kong are just angry, all the time? Even when they calm down they look pissed off. For one movie it's easy to overlook. After several, it makes this whole thing feel even shallower than it already is. We're watching a couple of grumpy jerks measure their egos over and over again. Not sure what I'd want instead - Kong with his reading glasses on, thumbing thoughtfully through a book? Godzilla giving us a smile and a wink? - but watching them roar and assert dominance ad nauseum is borderline irritating after the 20th time in the same 2-hour space, let alone across the entire franchise.

- Hollow Earth: neat idea, though hardly fresh since we've already visited another Kong lair in "Skull Island" and Godzilla's lair in "King of the Monsters". How many vast monster lairs can one planet hold? (if there's another movie, I'll be disappointed if they don't introduce yet another one of these somehow)

- Godzilla up close is a real hamburger face. I miss his cuter visage from the old '60s/'70s sequels. Nowadays he's looking like Mr. Boogedy.

- them both being heroes was both inevitable and situating this too close to "Batman v Superman" territory where there are no real story stakes because the reason these titans are quarreling is just too unconvincingly manufactured for its own sake.

- oh God, not blue energy and red energy beams blasting at each other again; it hasn't been long enough since "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter" climaxed with this crap. Must every blockbuster be the same?

- these fights are styled like WWE wrestling matches, which seems like just about the least imaginative approach they could've taken.

- not interested in the tragic aftermath of death tolls and destruction costs that other franchises have tried to grapple with (MCU, DCEU), but just the same, it's hard to swallow even in a movie like this that these 2 giants are worshiped as heroes by all humanity considering the colossal devastation they cause on mass populations, fleets of ships, entire cities, nature, and the foundation of the planet itself. Millions of people must have died in this movie. There's now a crater-sized open hole to the center of the earth. Just seems dissonant that they continue to idolize both monsters, even though one or two more battles like this will almost surely lead to mankind's inadvertent extinction. Kinda the same irrational popcorn movie thinking that made the T. Rex a beloved champion in "Jurassic World", even though it would happily eat and kill us all given the chance.

- no Mothra :\

A common theory now is that you'd have a better reaction to this movie if you were able to see it as intended on a tall screen in a movie theater instead of at home on HBOMax. Well, I did see it in theaters myself, inside a nice big multiplex auditorium in the dark, and still couldn't quite settle into it. It's fun enough, but not very impressive filmmaking compared to the rock 'n' roll energy of "Skull Island" or the exquisite majesty with which each of the beasts in "King of the Monsters" was revealed. Getting rather repetitive at this point, and closer to the stench of a Michael Bay joint (and not just cuz it's going for some "Transformers" action this time).

P.S. at first it seemed unfair that Kong gets all the spotlight here (80% his movie, 20% Godzilla's), until you remember that Godzilla already got 2 of his own movies in this series, and Kong's only had 1, so he was due. Plus they maintain strict checks and balances with regard to strength and teamwork and who gets the final blow. It all evens out.

Weighted Rating : 6.8
No. Ratings : 1
No. Reviews : 1

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Ranked by Rating
2021 33
2020's 45
All-time 6818

Ranked by No. Ratings
2021 9
2020's 15
All-time 7817

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