Saturday, April 3, 2021

Godzilla vs. Kong - Movie Review

The Movie: Godzilla vs. Kong

The Director: Adam Wingard

The Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick, Demián Bichir, Kyle Chandler, Kaylee Hottle, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Ronnie Chiang, John Pirruccello

The Story: Godzilla and Kong get in a fight and some people do some things, too.

The Review:
I really liked this movie a lot and I also have so serious issues with it. The question here is can I get past those issues to let this be a movie I would watch multiple times. What I love about this movie is how it looks. Every scene is beautifully rendered in all of it's color saturated photo realistic glory. If not for the humans that are inserted into most of the scenes, this would basically be an animated movie. I mean, just look at the picture above and imagine that's what you get to see for two hours on a giant movie theater screen. Kong versus Godzilla for all the monster sized marbles. This is what blockbuster movie making is all about. 

The action is clearly the selling point of this movie and the film makers deliver and deliver and deliver. I loved watching Godzilla, Kong, and other various monsters and monster type things do battle and destroy each other and cause much mayhem across the entire planet. All of it looks just amazing, the fights are super fun to watch, and the creators have come up with some really unique ways for the monsters to do battle. From the time the first film in this version of the Godzilla franchise was released in theaters, there has been an expectation of an epic scale showdown between the two titans and I really feel like we get a worthy payoff by the time it's all said and done.

All of that being said, I feel like there is one thing that needs to be said about how the Godzilla franchise and character is presented. Basically, this series of films is all about the blockbuster sized action and big special effects as I have been mentioning which is all well and good. The downside to this is that Godzilla is completely devoid of the gravity and meaning the character was intended to have when it was first created. If you didn't know, Godzilla was originally created as an allegory to the United States bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all of the emotional baggage that comes along with such a devastating event. I mean, people left the theater in tears when Godzilla was first released.

For a lot of people, this won't have much meaning but when you think about how a character who embodies the threat of America's capacity to destroy on a nuclear scale, you can begin to thin about what that might mean to the people of Japan. At first glance, the casting of this movie seems like it has a fair amount of diversity to it but then, after I watched the movie, I noticed that anyone of any ethnic background other than what we consider to be white is either evil, incompetent, inconsequential, or comic relief. I mean, this is 2021, we should be past that type of stereotypical typecasting, it's just tiring. All that and don't even get me started on how the original story of King Kong is an allegory for American slavery of black people.

It would be easy to say "It's just a monster movie" but I can't do that. These things need to be acknowledged especially when it comes to movies that will be seen by millions of people and that will make millions of dollars for studios and studio executives who tend to perpetuate gatekeeping and status quo filmmaking. There really is no story whatsoever and the human beings are only in the movie  to say words that make no sense, to make decisions that make even less sense, and to give reasons for the monsters to be moved around to different locations.

The Verdict:
Godzilla vs. Kong is the epitome of cinematic junk food. It's fun in the moment but you don't want to spend a lot of time thinking about the ingredients or how it was made.

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