dir: Adam Wingard
This. This is it. The dumbest movie of the year you could ever hope to see.
This is the kind of movie where the actors can’t hide the embarrassed look on their face as they’re delivering the dialogue that no people should be delivering. This isn’t even the worst thing Alexander Skarsgard has ever been in, though he looks slightly more embarrassed this time than the others. He looked more embarrassed here than he did in that miniseries where he gets pushed down the stairs for being an abusive arsehole.
Following in his father’s footsteps, in that Stellan played a mad scientist in the Marvel movies, Alexander plays a crazy, discredited lunatic scientist who believes the world is hollow and… I dunno, probably stuff about the vaccine that doesn’t make much sense, but more sense at least than this flick does.
The film promises one thing, with its title, being that Kong, a giant ape, will at some point fight Godzilla, a giant nuclear lizard. They are Titans. Titans don’t tolerate the presence of other Titans. When Godzilla detects something Titanic or Titan-y, he tracks it down and tries to kill it. A strangely pointless company called Monarch worries about all things Titan. They put some strange dome over Skull Island once they discovered a giant ape living there. The dome was to stop Kong leaving? Where was he going to go? Was he going to swim to wherever Godzilla was, and start pounding away? There’s all that ocean all around…
Whether it makes sense or not, that is what these Monarch people believe. In the previous flick, Godzilla King of the Monsters, Godzilla fought against a bunch of monsters, emerging triumphant, presumably. It almost seemed like this magnificent lizard cared enough about humanity to protect it, which is kinda like a blue whale deciding it’s on the side of krill. We are smaller than ants compared to Godzilla, but whatever.
Godzilla Versus Kong kinda makes it seem like nah, Godzilla don’t care about nothing except killing other things that are big. But the secret is, some of the dumb humans are messing around with creating their own giant things, so, well, you can’t say they weren’t warned.
This felt fifteen fucking hours long. It has at least 35 characters who talk regularly. It even has Millie Bobby Brown, who seemed like she was poised to take over all the cinema, all the streaming services and all the world for a while, but now people can barely remember Stranger Things. It was so long ago, and so not memorable.
But she has parlayed her fame into becoming a multi-media threat, so this is but a stepping stone on the way to further glory. Julian Dennison, I am happy to see, is getting more work outside of Subway commercials, but this is still an insult to the kid that was so great in Hunt for the Wilderpeople. He is here in a thankless role in order to have someone for Millie Bobby Brown to yell at. They are accompanied by a strange adult (Bryan Tyree Henry) who they really shouldn’t be spending time with, probably at least 100 metres away at all times.
Bryan Tyree Henry, who is so great in Atlanta as Paper Boi, and so, so terrible here, is a conspiracy theorist who is convinced the corporation he works for, Apex Cybernetics, is doing something evil, and even has a podcast about how evil they must be. But when the big reveal happens of what they were actually doing, which was a giant robot to kill Godzilla, he had absolutely no clue. No clue whatsoever. Take that, conspiracy theorist idiot. Next you’ll be telling me you’re reluctant to take the coronavirus vaccine, and I’ll be like “I don’t care you selfish idiot conspiracy theory man.”
Of all the people in this, the most annoyed is Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler). I know that his name in this is not Coach Taylor. It doesn’t matter. He has that look like he used to get in Friday Night Lights when he was really disappointed in someone, but was determined not to give up hope that they could do better. He has the singular distinction of having been in not only the two recent movies to do with giant monkeys, giant lizards, and giant monkey lizards, but I seem to recall he was in Peter Jackson’s bloated monstrosity of a King Kong movie that also went for fifteen fucking hours. He brings the same bored stoicism here that he brings to everything he does for a paycheck.
They don’t really need to be here. Almost no-one needs to be here. In some ways, I wish that the film had actually been from the perspective of the monsters, so that there’d be no need for pesky acres of dialogue that goes nowhere. Kong’s species, and probably all the giant things, originated from the inside of the earth which somehow has a light source or some funky quantum physics going on, but none of it is really that interesting.
Kong and Godzilla do fight, but who really cares? Probably Kong, who loses. SPOILED IT for you. Usually I’d give warnings and such, but, honestly, does it matter to any one else other than Kong, who’s feelings are probably well hurt? Taking a beating like that in the streets of Hong Kong, you’d think he was a protestor protesting against the authoritarian brutality of the CCP. Some reviews talk about how callous a thing it is to see two CGI creatures destroying a city without regard for the countless lives lost, virtual or otherwise, but, honestly, what’s happening in Hong Kong right now in reality is far worse.
As for whether it looked cool or not, well, I have to say, I’m not sure that anyone who CGIed up “Hong Kong” in this flick has ever had a look at a photo of Hong Kong. I’m pretty sure it’s not a city where every building is etched with neon lights, making it look like something out of Tron, but it sure looked, um, okay.
This is yet another monster flick where I wished that the monsters killed everyone. That would have been fucking funny. Imagine how cool the flick would have been if Godzilla and Kong first met, caught each other’s glance, maybe kissed, and then thought through, I dunno, monster telepathy “let’s eat all the annoying humans”. How great would that have been? Then, I really would have known who to support in this.
As it stands, well, nothing and no-one to care about, nothing that cool to see, and an ending dumber than anything else I’ve ever seen, I couldn’t even enjoy this while inebriated, and that’s the harshest indictment I can think of.
This was meant to herald a return to the cinemas, a reason to pretend that the virus isn’t still raging its way through much of the world, but I honestly can’t imagine that it would have made sense to see this on the big screen even if 3 million people hadn’t died horribly in the last year.
4 times there is no vaccine for mediocrity out of 10
“We believe that they had an ancient rivalry. The myths say that their ancestors fought each other in a great war.” – sounds whatever the opposite of interesting is – Godzilla Versus KONG!