Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

[3.5 stars]

Well, damn if they didn’t get it more right than they had yet with Godzilla, Skull Island, or Godzilla: King of Monsters. And while Max Borenstein has been a consistent thread in the scripts, the addition of Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok) no doubt provided the extra energy and humor that really sells the remake of this story. And director Adam Wingard (Death Note) knew how to bring it all together.

Well…mostly. This is still a Godzilla flick with some truly painful moments and decisions. But it is also full of misdirects and enough surprises to keep it interesting and moving along without distracting from the two kings who dominate the flick.

And rule they do. The fights and interactions between the titans, including the sly and subtle expressions they flash, make the movie. Even when the plot becomes inevitable, watching them is one of the best popcorn fixes in a long while. Even seeing it on a smaller screen it manages to stay completely entertaining.

You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned any of the humans. There’s a reason for that: humans don’t matter in this movie. They drive the plot and fill in the gaps, but human life is super-cheap in this latest installment and no one, let alone our monster friends, seem to notice (unless it’s one of the very few they care about). Wingard knew this and played into it.

Even with their demoted status in the stories, the cast is generally pretty good and knows their purpose in the tale. Rebecca Hall (Mirai), Alexander Skarsgård (The Hummingbird Project), and Millie Bobby Brown (Enola Holmes) really help drive the story but never take focus. Even the over-the-top Brian Tyree Henry (Superintelligence) and Demián Bichir (The Midnight Sky) add something between the cringing moments of pulling furniture from their teeth; I really do wish the more extreme moments of their performances had been smoothed over.

If you enjoy watching Kaiju in a battle royale, this is for you. It may be the best fight scenes in the genre; certainly among the top. The effects and choreography are really impressive and well thought out. And, of course, there is room for more movies after this, as there always is. But this story wraps up the overall series comfortably and with a great deal of fun.

Godzilla vs. Kong Poster

 

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