The Bock’s Office: ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ a phenomenal fight flick
When you hear an unholy shriek or a cacophony of chest-pounding hundreds of feet high, you know you’re about to see something fantastic.
When these familiar sounds are presented within seconds of each other, you can bet you’ll see something of pure awesomeness. Such is the dynamic presentation that is “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
Several years after the world seems to have settled down following attacks by multiple colossal monsters known as Titans, experts remain on high alert for the next wave of destruction. Their fears are well-founded as the massive lizard Godzilla unleashes fury on a Gulf Coast scientific facility for no apparent reason.
The concern that Godzilla has turned against humanity leads to an agreement between organizations monitoring the situation to fight fire with fire by enlisting the aid of another Titan: the towering ape Kong, who’s been held captive for decades.
Neither Kong nor his handlers are at all thrilled about the arrangement, but when Godzilla continues his assaults, there’s little time to argue.
Before getting to know some of the human characters involved, let’s be clear: None of them matter. Period.
If you care about the comings and goings of people gazing skyward at a battle between two forces of primordial nature, why are you even watching this?
On team Kong, we have Alexander Skarsgård as a geologist who’s been laughed out of his industry for promoting the idea of a Hollow Earth — a very real concept in this universe — and Rebecca Hall as the scientist who’s somehow the only one who can reach the big guy.
Well, actually her adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle) — the last member of the tribe that used to inhabit Kong’s home — is the mastermind behind reaching the ancient animal by teaching him a smattering of sign language.
“Godzilla vs. Kong,” rated PG-13
3 out of 4 stars
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry
In Godzilla’s corner is a returning Millie Bobby Brown as teenage adventurer Madison Russell, whose past experiences with the rampaging reptile have her convinced that he’s not just throwing any old tantrum. Then there’s Brian Tyree Henry as the conspiracy theorist podcaster with whom she teams up to infiltrate the techno firm that’s hugely interested in the activities of the Titans.
If there’s one more player worth mentioning before we get to the important details, it’s Demián Bichir as the CEO of Apex Cybernetics, a smooth pitchman intent on setting the world right. Without spoiling too much — and come on, you know where this is going — let’s just remember that anyone looking to pit two behemoths against each other isn’t doing it out of the goodness of his heart.
Well, now that we’re past that, let’s review the combatants…
•First appearance: 1954
•Number of movies: 36
•Strengths: Atomic blasts, underwater capabilities
•Weaknesses: Stubby arms, no sense of stealth
•Worst trait: Horrendous breath
•First appearance: 1933
•Number of movies: 12
•Strengths: Opposable thumbs, well-honed fighting skills
•Weaknesses: Thin skin, easily manipulated by humans
•Worst trait: Probably enjoys throwing his own poop
Both of these guys have had ups and downs over the years in how their appearance has been redesigned, their origin stories and their motivations, all of which have shifted as modern audiences’ tastes change.
The fourth installment of the MonsterVerse — yep, that’s the title they picked — should have been assembled earlier. The “Godzilla” reboot was solid and “Kong: Skull Island” was pretty good, but these two should have squared off immediately afterward so they could move on to “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and honestly include all the big names.
Let’s not even bother with the obvious fact that Mothra and Rodan deserved their own standalone movies rather than being relegated to ancillary status…
That being said, this is the showdown we’ve been waiting for since Godzilla and Kong sparred about 50 years ago, and with no expense spared in the computer-generated imagery, it’s all the glorious mess you hoped it would be.
The foes only truly throw down twice in the movie, but neither occasions disappoint as Godzilla first ambushes the ship carrying Kong, then they have their bigger brawl in a glittering metropolis, laying absolute waste in the way we always dreamed.
There are no criticisms worth noting as far as the fight sequences other than wishing they lasted another hour and got rid of any and all human personalities. What a limiting quality, to only be able to comprehend everything from the species that serves no other purpose than to be in the way!
Seriously, imagine how groundbreaking that could be — no dialogue, no exposition; endless roaring, punching, and shattering skyscrapers; people are only seen from the monsters’ vantage point as the worthless insects we are…
Well, a boy can dream.
Even if it insists on casting high-profile actors who are utterly wasted, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is more or less the explosive, effects-driven enjoyment it ought to be.
The only question is where do they go from here? If Hollywood can figure out how to meet and exceed the new standard, perhaps they are the real Titans.
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