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Reviews for March 31st, 2021

Godzilla vs. Kong

Directed by Adam Wingard

      King Kong has begun to show signs of rebellion while caged in a biodome on Skull Island, so researcher Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) thinks that it's about time to move him to a new location. Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård), a scientist, agrees to help Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir), CEO of Apex Industries, to use Kong to locate Hollow Earth where a powerful energy source can be found. Ilene and Jia (Kaylee Hottle), a young deaf girl who can communicate with Kong through sign language, join Dr. Lind on the journey. Meanwhile, Godzilla attacks Apex Industries while Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry), a podcaster, gains access to sensitive information that could explain why Godzilla chose to attack Apex's corporate headquarters. He suspects that something shady is going on involving Apex and teams up with two teens, Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison) and Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) to investigate his conspiracy theory.

       In terms of plot, Godzilla vs. Kong is nothing to write home about. The screenplay by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein has a story that's straight-forward and easy-to-follow with plenty of exposition to ensure that you're not confused about what's happening and why. Of course, there's a MacGuffin in the form of an energy source that the greedy, cartoonish Apex CEO Walter Simmons desperately needs. Walter, like the other characters, are written as essentially one-note characters. They're onscreen merely to move the plot forward or, like Bernie Hayes, to also add some comic relief. None of them feel like human beings or memorable characters for that matter which is a shame because films like these are as good as their villains are. Walter makes for a pretty bland and forgettable villain. The actors and actresses try their best to rise above the mediocre material, but don't quite succeed, especially because of the shallowness of the screenplay. Where's the suspense if you don't even care about whether or not King Kong will defeat Godzilla at any point?

      Fortunately, Godzilla vs. Kong works best during the action scenes between Godzilla and King Kong. Their battles are indeed spectacular and dazzling with great CGI effects that turn the film into an exhilarating spectacle even if those moments are fleeting between all the expository scenes. More accurately, it's like a thrilling ride at an action park or like watching a video game unfold on screen. Although it's exciting to see it as escapist fun on a visceral level, it doesn't give you anything more than an ephemeral rush of adrenaline. In other words, Godzilla vs Kong is yet another expensive, vapid B-movie that quickly fades from memory shortly afterwards.

Number of times I checked my watch: 2
Released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Opens in theaters nationwide and on HBO MAX.