Godzilla vs. Kong

The pandemic has claimed thousands upon thousands of casualties, the most adverse and woeful being - you guessed it - the cinema!  I have heard that the death toll included humans, but that seems a little farfetched, no?  Back to the matter at hand.  We haven't felt safe enough as a nation to visit multiplexes in chorus since March of 2020.  That was a fucking year ago.  Apparently, moviegoers are getting antsy and downright indignant, as Godzilla vs. Kong has rustled up robust numbers at the box office.  I'm impressed.  One would think that the cushy HBO Max deal would appeal to kibitzers who prefer to watch their blockbusters on the sofa.

It makes sense.  If anything was going to snap Hollywood out of its wampum-divested coma, it was going to be this electric, exhilarating sugar rush of a film.  The plot is both basic and convoluted.  Set fifty years after the events of 2017's Kong: Skull Island, Titans are now an accepted splinter of society.  Kong is allotted his own enclosure, a virtual reality environment made to mimic Skull Island.  When The Big G awakens and unexpectedly abrades turf he once protected (a heel turn???), The Eighth Wonder of the World is solicited for his beast-thrashing powers.

Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, we also follow Madison (Millie Bobby Brown's character from Godzilla: King of the Monsters) as she and a pal go on an ill-advised journey to divulge conspiracies at the heart of Apex Cybernetics.  She's a teenager, but she has no problem toppling this evil empire and discovering vehicles below the earth's surface that, like, race across continents faster than you can say "cackleberry."  A hen's egg.  A cackleberry is a hen's egg.  Blammo!  I provide entertainment and education.  My point is that a few of the subplots are hard to swallow, even in a cosmogonal spiel pitting giant monsters against each other.

Obviously, circumstantial failings don't ruin an otherwise boisterous wingding.  I described Godzilla vs. Kong as a sugar rush earlier, and that's more appropriate than I realized.  This flick is a cartoon.  It's dialed into what 11-year-old Dom would have wanted to see.  That's not a negative, folks!  If not for an airplane hangar's worth of creature guts, it probably would have been rated PG.  Tonally, it's brighter than the prodromal entries in the Monsterverse, but the script achieves accessibility without talking down to the viewer.  I can't say that about Toho's 1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla.  Many have labeled the modern version as ridiculous, but if you haven't seen the original crossover, you don't know ridiculous.

Of course, I still love the Toho mold.  I love Godzilla vs. King Kong as well.  Because of course I do!  My only nitpicks involve lapses in logic and tragic attempts at comedy.  I don't believe I laughed at a single instance of labored, contrived levity.  Thankfully, the true stars of the show didn't spend crucial time cracking wise.  It was all killer, no filler.  I didn't want to include spoilers (and I doubt it counts as a spoiler...I'm playing it safe), but I dig the villain's appearance.  Reminds me of something out of an episode of Ultraman.  Right on.


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