So here we are, a week later. I started this mini event by watching Godzilla vs. Kong and then thinking, “hey, shouldn’t I review the other movies first?” This idea of having to review the preceding films has had a spotty record here, since I reviewed Brahams: The Boy II half a year before getting to The Boy, and I haven’t covered the original Jacob’s Ladder after talking about the awful, awful Jacob’s Ladder remake. So why do it now, when it would push this review even further away from being topical? I dunno, man. I guess I just wanted to watch giant monsters punch fight each other again.
Years after Godzilla used his big dick energy to become King of the Monsters, he starts attacking facilities owned by Apex Cybernetics, much to the world’s dismay. Apex is run by the obviously evil Walter Simmons (Mr. Demián Bichir), and one semi-noteworthy employee is Ren Serizawa (Shun Oguri), the son of Ken Watanabe’s Ishiro Serizawa. Huh, having a son resentful that his father spent more time with monsters than with him really colors Ishiro’s sacrifice last movie in a very different light… Anyway, seemingly completely unrelated to that, a team of scientists want to travel to the Hollow Earth that these movies have been talking about since Kong: Skull Island. But there’s a plot device preventing them from safely getting there, so they decide to take Kong off Skull Island and use him as a guide. But Godzilla needs to prove he’s the alpha, so he beats the shit out of Kong in the middle of the ocean before doing the
titan kaiju equivalent of dusting off his hands and swimming away. Kong survives and does indeed take the scientists to Hollow Earth, which I’m pretty sure the previous movies implied was supposed to be dangerously radioactive… But oh no! Apex was financing this expedition, and they take the irradiated power source from Hollow Earth and… uh… e-mail it to their above ground facility? No, really, how did they–whatever, it’s not like this movie has made a lot of sense thus far. As Godzilla and Kong meet up in Hong Kong (ha), Apex is revealed to have been working on a Mechagodzilla using the severed Ghidorah head from the post-credits scene of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. But the skull overpowers Ren’s control, killing him (RIP you otherwise useless character) and making Mechagodzilla go rogue. After Godzilla proves yet again that he’s stronger than Kong, the two team up to defeat the robot. Godzilla returns to the ocean as Kong now rules over Hollow Earth.
In a completely useless subplot, Millie Bobby Brown, a conspiracy theorist, and the kid from Deadpool 2 are the ones who uncover that Apex was building Mechagodzilla. They try to stop the robot, but only manage to make it pause for half a second which was… almost useful? As many people have pointed out, you could remove this side plot from the movie and it’d be largely unchanged, but I guess they wanted to keep Millie Bobby Brown’s name in the promotional materials.
So this was… fine? It was fine. If you wanted to see big lizard punch big monkey, then they team up against dino robot, this is the movie for you. It’s definitely one of those “don’t think about it too hard” kind of movies, but it just didn’t engage me as much as Godzilla: King of the Monsters did, in part because I don’t really care about Kong. I’ve already seen Godzilla and Kong fight in 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla, and that one had Kong attack Godzilla by shoving a tree down his throat, which I first saw as a GIF with the text, “Eat it bitch. Eat your broccoli.” Fine art it’s not, but this movie just didn’t do it for me.
Honestly, though, I expected this to be far worse. Director Adam Wingard is predominantly a horror movie director, and has some decent stuff under his belt like framing device of the original V/H/S and the creepy cybernetic eye story in V/H/S/2. But then he directed the American Death Note movie–which fans of the anime have told me was a travesty–and the lackluster 2016 Blair Witch sequel. That last one sticks with me, because in a commentary track he got super passive-aggressive that the movie didn’t do well, saying things like:
You’re not gonna get an explanation for these lights because you didn’t come see this moving opening weekend, so now you’re just gonna have to fucking wonder what is going on out there.-Adam Wingard being super petty
That level of pettiness just sours everything, so I had low expectations for this film. But it was a fine movie! Solid 3 out of 5!
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