Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Review: "GODZILLA VS. KONG" Rocks 'n' Roars

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 17 of 2024 (No. 1961) by Leroy Douresseaux

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
Running time: 113 minutes (1 hour, 53 minutes)
MPA – PG-13 for intense sequences of creature violence/destruction and brief language
DIRECTOR:  Adam Wingard
WRITERS:  Terry Rossio and Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields; from a story by Max Borenstein and Eric Pearson (based on characters owned by Toho Co., Ltd.)
PRODUCERS:  Jon Jashni, Alex Garcia, Eric McLeod, Mary Parent, Brian Rogers, and Thomas Tull
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Ben Seresin (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Josh Schaeffer
COMPOSER:  Tom Holkenborg


Starring:  Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Bryan Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza Gonzalez, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick, Kaylee Hottle, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Ronny Chieng, Demian Bichir, and Kyle Chandler

Godzilla vs. Kong is a 2021 monster movie and science fiction-fantasy adventure film directed by Adam Wingard.  Produced by Legendary Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, this film is the fourth entry in the “MonsterVerse” film series, which began with Godzilla (2014).  Godzilla vs. Kong finally brings about the long awaited confrontation between Godzilla and Kong.

Godzilla vs. Kong opens three years after the dragon-like extraterrestrial King Ghidorah awakened the monstrous “Titans” around the world before being defeated by Godzilla.  On Skull Island, Monarch has imprisoned Kong within a game preserve that is covered by a giant dome where they monitor him.  Skull Island has been taken over by the storm that previously kept it hidden from the world.  Kong has befriended Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the island's last native human and the young adopted daughter of Kong expert, Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall).  Jia is deaf and communicates with Kong via sign language.

Across the world, at Apex Cybernetics in Pensacola, Florida, CEO Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir) is up to something sinister, and that has drawn the attention of Godzilla, who reappears after three years and attacks the facility.  That doesn't stop Simmons, who travels to Denham University of Theoretical Science in Philadelphia, in order to recruit former Monarch scientist, Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard), to lead a mission into the legendary “Hollow Earth,” which is Lind's area of expertise.  But the mission needs Kong, and that's where Ilene and her daughter, Jia, come in.

Meanwhile, Bernie Hayes (Bryan Tyree Henry), an Apex Cybernetics employee and a Titan conspiracy podcast host, is investigating Apex's activities.  Hayes finds a kindred spirit in Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), daughter of Monarch scientist, Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler), who is also suspicious of Apex.  With her friend, Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison), in tow, Millie joins Bernie on an adventure that will take them halfway across the world to where Apex is hiding its most sinister secret, one that is tied to the mission into the Hollow Earth and its secrets.

The “MonsterVerse” is an American multimedia franchise that includes movies; a streaming live-action television series (Apple TV+) and a streaming animated series (Netflix); books and comic books; and video games.  It is a shared fictional universe that includes the character, “Godzilla” and other characters owned and created by the Japanese entertainment company, Toho Co., Ltd.  The MonsterVerse is a reboot of Toho's Godzilla franchise.  It is also a reboot of the King Kong franchise, which is based on the character, “King Kong,” that was created by actor and filmmaker, Merian C. Cooper (1893-1973).

The fifth film in the MonsterVerse series, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, is due to be released March 29, 2023, so I have decided to watch and review the previous four films:  Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), and 2021's Godzilla vs. Kong (which is the subject of this review).

Godzilla vs. Kong is, thus far, the best of the “MonsterVerse” films.  Each film is its own thing, although they are all monster movies.  Godzilla 2014 is a science fiction mystery film.  Kong: Skull Island is a lost world story, thoroughly wrapped in pseudo-science and weird fiction.  Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a VFX-slick, CGI-fuel-injected, modernized take on the original 1950s, Japanese Gojira/Godzilla films.

Godzilla vs. Kong is the monster movie as an old school science fiction-fantasy action-adventure film that has been all gussied up with CGI and dazzling, glowing, supernatural special effects.  I could feel the science fiction mood through Tom Holkenborg's score which reminded me of Daft Punk's glorious score for Tron: Legacy (2010).  Godzilla vs. Kong's “Hollow Earth” subplot is the film Fantastic Voyage (1966) wishes it could have been.  Godzilla vs. Kong is wall-to-wall adventure.  It is a sci-fi travelogue from one end of the Earth to the other, whether it is breathlessly racing from Florida to Hong Kong for a mecha showdown or plunging into a mind-bending journey inside the deepest reaches of the planet.

As for the confrontation between Godzilla and Kong: the first one in this film is an impossible battle that is a work of genius on the part of everyone involved.  What is more shocking is that the second confrontation, which occurs in the film's last act, is even better and even more eye-popping.

Godzilla vs. Kong is the ultimate monster showdown spectacle.  I was not able to turn away from it, and a day after seeing it, I'm still buzzing from it as I write this review.  Godzilla vs. Kong is peak “MonsterVerse,” and I pity the films in the series that come after it.

8 of 10
★★★★ out of 4 stars

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The text is copyright © 2024 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved.  Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.



Amazon wants me to inform/remind you that any affiliate links found on this page are PAID ADS, but I technically only get paid (eventually) if you click on affiliate links like this, MOVIES PAGE, and BUY something(s).

No comments:

Post a Comment