‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ is what you would expect

It’s been over a year since trips to the movie theater have been a regular occurrence for me. Theaters have implemented COVID-19 procedures but most people, including myself, felt it wasn’t worth the risk. As people get vaccinated, they’ll need big, exciting films to draw them back to the theaters. “Godzilla vs. Kong” came out at just the right time to meet that need.
Godzilla, formerly a protector of humanity and the balance of life, has been mysteriously attacking cities around the world. In order to protect civilization, the U.S. government captures Kong to use as a weapon against Godzilla.
A monster movie is nothing without its bombastic fights. Luckily the fights in this film are a true feast for the eyes. Both Godzilla and Kong use their abilities to their fullest extent. This leads to exciting battles that are much more dynamic and interesting than your typical monster film. It’s just a shame that there weren’t more of them.
These fights are complemented by a slick visual style. Previous American Godzilla movies have been gray and shrouded in darkness. However, in this one, the cities are lit up by a ton of neon and covered in a dense fog. It almost looks like these monsters are fighting in the Los Angeles of “Blade Runners.”
Don’t let the title fool you, however. Whereas something like “Captain America: Civil War” provided enough information for the audience to make a decision as to which side they agreed with, “Godzilla vs. Kong” doesn’t even try. This is a Kong movie through and through. The majority of the runtime is devoted to a journey that he goes on with the humans, and Godzilla usually just pops up as an antagonistic force. As a Godzilla fan myself, I was a little disappointed.
There are about 45 minutes of fun monster fights, and the rest of the two hour runtime is filled with some of the most cliché, boring human storylines ever put to film. There’s a typical corporate bad guy. There’s a discredited scientist who turns out to have been correct the whole time. No character gets any interesting backstory. Most of them had a parent die or something. How original.
And what a waste of a talented cast! Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Alexander Skarsgård are just a few of the names that are in the movie purely for star power. Brown’s character and her plot line could be completely written out of the movie and nothing would change.
Not all of the human bits are awful. One little girl has a special connection to Kong that helps ground Kong as a character and creates an emotional core to the film. Even that storyline isn’t without its logical flaws though, and its payoff at the end of the film is lackluster at best.
A big ape fights a big lizard. If that sounds fun to you (as it did to me), then you’ll probably enjoy this movie. If you think it sounds stupid, well I can’t really argue with that either. If you feel safe enough to go back to the theaters though, this may be the dumb fun that you need in the middle of this stressful semester.

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