King Kong breaks the glass ceiling in “Godzilla vs. Kong.” He also reveals how sworn enemies can join forces when bigger threats are at play.
Borrowing a page from “Jurassic World,” director Adam Wingard shows how a huge ape can live peacefully in a bustling world where, presumably, giant monsters stay in their own yard. Meanwhile, a richer-than-Midas entrepreneur (Demian Bichir) wants to go one better than Godzilla. Like Disneyland and Universal Studios, these competing theme parks could work, but that isn’t the endgame for either of them.
Instead, it’s one of those “winner take all” confrontations that send people running in the streets and buildings falling like so many LEGOS.
Considering we haven’t seen big, effects-heavy films splash across a theater screen in more than a year, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is a great way to get back in the groove. The plot doesn’t make much sense, but then, how could it when you’ve got an oversized ape and a giant lizard roaming the earth?
Because Godzilla goes into these wild rages, experts think they can control them if Kong journeys to the center of the Earth. Much goes into the expedition (think: “Fantastic Voyage”) and includes a glowing axe that, vaguely, suggests Thor’s hammer. That helps Kong regain his confidence when, yup, he’ll be forced to flex his muscles (and swing from skyscrapers).
Meanwhile, in the Godzilla camp, three conspiracy theorists gain access to key areas of Apex Cybernetics and discover what’s really afoot with its owner.
They get to play run-and-gun “Earthquake” games while the Kong folks are diving into their movie parallel.
Surprisingly, there are a number of blue-chip actors in this film – a film that doesn’t require much acting. Alexander Skarsgard and Rebecca Hall are on the Kong front. Millie Bobby Brown and Brian Tyree Henry are in the Godzilla sanctum. Toss in Kyle Chandler (as Brown’s dad) and it looks like “Godzilla vs. Kong” could have more than a few rounds of rock-‘em, sock-‘em. The actors, though, mainly look surprised and run. A lot. Henry gets the best laughs and makes us care about the outcome.
When a big showdown occurs in Tokyo, it isn’t so much a battle for titles but an end to manipulative billionaires. So many buildings fall in the process, you wonder who has to clean up the mess once it’s all over and who gets stuck doing the insurance paperwork.
While “Godzilla vs. Kong” isn’t the ultimate in special effects films, it is a good example why home screens can’t really do something like this justice.
Filling the screen with lots of interesting business, Wingard practically insists you see it on something larger than a television. Proof that theaters matter, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is a big reason to embrace sitting in dark rooms with strangers and shouting at opportune moments.