Godzilla vs. Kong
Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Lance Reddick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Ronny Chieng, Chris Chalk, Conlan Casal, and Kaylee Hottle
Written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein
Directed by Adam Wingard
Rated: PG for coarse language, violence and frightening scenes
Runtime: 113 minutes
Available for rental via premium video on demand on participating digital platforms at $24.99 beginning on Wednesday, March 31.
Did you feel that? That sound was the thud made by the MonsterVerse building up a mighty battle royale between two hollow titans that fell apart just as it was about to get good. Now... I know what you're going to say: can't you just eat your popcorn and enjoy some fluffy cinematic carnage without disparaging what is meant to be pure escapist fun? I've enjoyed many a fine piece of cinematic confection but there are still criteria that must be fulfilled for me to offer higher ratings.
I come for the visual effects and the carnage-filled action scenes, but I stay for story, which includes but is not limited to plot and character portrayal and development, and humanity, even if just a drop of it.
In this long-awaited tentpole blockbuster, Godzilla and Kong are legendary ancient mortal enemies. If one gets a sniff of the other, it brings them running – or swimming, or stomping as the case may be. Expect mayhem, as it is mayhem that you will get. Kong, according to the extended storyline in this fictional universe of Great Apes and Gargantuan Iguanas, already has human friends on its side, including Jia (Kaylee Hottle), a young deaf girl who is the only survivor of the Indigenous inhabitants of Skull Island after a natural disaster took the rest.
She and a team are trying to help him find his true home. Apparently, Skull Island was just a bit of nonsense, a paradise getaway that he couldn't get away from.
Unfortunately, Godzilla smells something it doesn't like and attacks Florida. Why not, right? Stranger things have happened there, from what I've been told. That's also the home of Apex Industries, a research/construction company that is working toward finding a new energy source and also seems to be involved in something shady. A conspiracy podcaster named Bernie (Brian Tyee Henry) infiltrates the important facility with incredibly poor security with the easy help of his new teenaged friends Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) and Josh (Julian Dennison).
The fact that the underaged characters are the most interesting humans to watch in this movie only tells me that the screenwriters don't understand how adults work, even in ridiculous fantasy smash-ups like this. Granted, Kong had some interesting facial expressions but that's de riguere for every Planet of the Apes and Rampage monster movie ever since Andy Serkis did the motion capture for Peter Jackson's King Kong in 2005. Now if only they could do that for Kyle Chandler whose only job in a movie is to have 'the sad eyes of a father who is in over his head' – see Super 8 for reference. Even Rebecca Hall who is fantastically expressive and wonderfully watchable got blanched into blandness with her threadbare role.
Whose idea was this drivel? It simply wasted my time. If you had any interest in this movie then you can't complain that I'm spoiling the fun for you. You would have just watched it and not read what some hack critic thought of it in the first place. So now I've wasted your time too. Aren't I a monster?