Battle of brutes
Box office smash Godzilla vs. Kong is one of the more entertaining films in the series
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Nothing marks a step toward pre-pandemic normalcy like a Godzilla movie: The recently released Godzilla vs. Kong makes No. 44 since the first in 1954. The new film’s plot is outlandish, of course, but coherent, with a few mild surprises unearthed (literally) along the way. There’s no sensuality, the violence is mostly lizard-on-ape, and the plotline raises an apt question.
Godzilla’s unexpected attack on Apex Cybernetics is the “first Titan sighting in over three years.” Apex honcho Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) convinces ostracized “Hollow Earth Theory” academic Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) to lead a team into Earth’s interior to harness an energy source, supposedly to wield against Godzilla.
How does Kong figure in? The team includes a young deaf girl (Kaylee Hottle) who has a bond with the giant ape. Simmons and Lind force Kong to accompany the team, reasoning he’ll protect them for the girl’s sake from Godzilla and any subterranean terrors.
Meanwhile, whistleblower Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry), a teen devotee of Bernie’s podcasts, and a geeky pal investigate the suspicious goings-on at Apex’s facilities in Florida and Hong Kong.
Is Godzilla vs. Kong (rated PG-13) worth a big-screen outing? Yes, except for the disappointing 15 expletives. The film delivers nonstop, intense special effects: Godzilla and Kong slug it out mid-ocean atop a fleet of aircraft carriers, and Hong Kong’s neon-lit skyscrapers suffer monster mashing during a nighttime topple fest.
And that question: Can two superpowers set aside their differences to confront a common enemy in the form of technology put to evil use? That wouldn’t be normalcy, pre-pandemic or not, but it would be a welcome step.
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