Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
March 31, 2021 4:35 PM - Subscribe

Monke fite nucular dinasour!
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace (39 comments total)
Well now, that was a silly thing. At least it seemed to embrace the silly, I think.

The ape fights were good... I still mostly prefer Pacific Rim, but disliked that they only fought in the dark in that one.

I do sort of regret watching this at home and not in its natural habitat of a weekday matinee late in its run with stale popcorms.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:50 PM on March 31, 2021 [5 favorites]

That was... better than the last one! And had some very good pop sci fi visuals in hollow earth. I mean, it’s a video card demo on showroom color settings, but the kids loved it, and it seemed to be taking itself less seriously. They’re really building a universe, in a more coherent way than DC, and approaching what Pacific Rim is doing.
posted by condour75 at 6:29 PM on March 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

I’m also glad that they didn’t give the father anything to do because he was really a dud in the last one.
posted by condour75 at 6:30 PM on March 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

They could at least let him give rousing speeches.

posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:41 PM on March 31, 2021 [6 favorites]

Loved it! 2 hours of good popcorn munching fun. I would have been happy after "journey to the center of the earth" in plasma drive anti-grav ships, but then epic fight in neon Hong Kong followed by Mecha-Godzilla vs good guy tagteam titans! super fun.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:19 PM on March 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

That was so much more fun than it had any right to be.  

That they bothered to work out a quick in-universe visual example of crazy hollow-Earth gravity pseudo-physics in action had me so goddam chuffed!  I'm perfectly happy positing a universe where rainbow-anti gravity ships fly around in all their fabulous colors, the Earth is hollow, and all the other wildly improbable things like secret high speed subsurface trans-continental ballistic tubes and synthetic intelligence based on the zombified brain of a beheaded kaiju.…I just want it to hang together by its own rules, ya know?  I don't mind big, dumb, popcorn movies, I just don't want them to be willfully stupid.  And yes, I'm looking at you Justice League—and well, a gazillion other bad sci-fi/fantasy movies too if I'm honest, that's just the most recent one.  A tiny bit of in-universe logic is absolutely the secret super soldier serum of willful suspension of disbelief.  I wish more directors understood that.

I laughed out loud when Godzilla charged up Kong's axe.   You just know they had to be cackling with laughter themselves when they story-boarded that scene, because it sure felt like a callback to Thor charging up Iron Man with lightning to tag-team Thanos in Endgame…worked better this time though.

And lastly, I'm burning with curiosity—though I hope it's never answered, I prefer the mystery—but who built that crazy gothic hall in the hollow Earth?  What's its purpose?  Throne room?  Engine room?  Dance hall?  So many possibilities.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 12:24 AM on April 1, 2021 [6 favorites]

posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:10 AM on April 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

That was so much more fun than it had any right to be.

Indeed. It was great fun, and at under 2 hours, the writers and director aren't too full of themselves. They kept the pace moving between that A and B plots. I get my second Pfizer vaccine on 4/16, and if this is still in a theater in May, I'd seriously consider going to see it on a (bigger) screen.
posted by mikelieman at 5:46 AM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I genuinely can't tell if this was good per se, even strictly within its genre, but that whole Hong Kong final third earns pretty major goodwill from me, and I'm still hyped. Even if the location feels even more PacRim-derived than proper Toho. There's even kaiju continuity! (In that the heel turn can totally be explained by the fact the mecha is powered by Ghidorah's remains)

I really liked how the monster fight was very reminiscent of wrestling ala the original outing between this two.
posted by cendawanita at 8:49 AM on April 1, 2021

This was beautifully dumb and I loved every minute of it. I’m so glad they went all in on hollow earth and a giant glowing axe and a rogue mech taken over by an AI trained on a dead titan, and barely felt the need to explain any of it. But I was pleased to see Lance Riddick’s name in the opening credits and then he was in it for.. literally about six seconds??
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:53 PM on April 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

Just watched it, that was fun! I liked it more than the first two Pacific Rim movies because all the Titans had such personality. I read the AV Club review that said the subplots involving people dragged the movie down, but that wasn’t my experience at all. And the monster fights were worth it when they happened.

I loved the Rock-Paper-Scissors structure of it: Godzilla can beat Kong (2 out of 3 times), Mechagodzilla can beat Godzilla, Kong can beat Mechagodzilla (with an axe-charging assist from Godzilla). Speaking of the axe, I love that it’s clearly made from the femur and back plate/fin of Godzilla’s granddaddy, but none of the characters were compelled to point that out.

I also liked the callback to the 1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla, in which somehow King Kong absorbed electricity to make himself strong enough to fight Godzilla, as apes are known to do. Here it was just a giant defibrillator to get him going again, but I saw what you did there, Wingard.

Only three things bothered me by being outside the established scope of silliness. 1. Godzilla melting a hole to the near-center of the earth with his atomic breath. Come on. 2. Kong being able to travel through that hole back to the surface in the space of what, an hour? I know the gravity inversion veil was some primo handwavium but come on. 3. Something like 10,000 people died in Godzilla’s attack on the fleet and nobody even acknowledged it! It’s especially hilarious when compared to the low casualties of Godzilla’s attack on Apex in Pensacola—8 dead and 12 wounded. Really?

Anyway, I’m happy to keep watching movies in this franchise as long as they continue to not take themselves too seriously.
posted by ejs at 9:07 PM on April 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

King Kong is so brave and strong!
posted by chrchr at 10:05 PM on April 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

I am amazed that someone managed to remake Journey to the Center of the Earth (props to Brendan Frasier but I mean the Pat Boone version) and sell it as Godzilla vs Kong. Kudos, movie producer who can like like a rug.

But we really gotta get Gamera up in here next. I was disappointed by the short on-screen time of nearly-Mothra.
posted by GuyZero at 1:39 PM on April 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

OK also having actually just now seen the end of the movie, this is just wrestling.
posted by GuyZero at 2:07 PM on April 2, 2021

1. Thank you for a big dumb fun movie. I very much enjoyed it.

2. Apex Cybernetics has the worst fucking infosec and security I have seen onscreen. The ease with which MBB and co got into a ruined plant, ended up on a maglev train from Penscacola to Hong Kong, stepped out into a Kobyashi Maru for Mechagodzilla, figured out the doorcode for another top secret facility, and then merely realized you only had to spill booze on one (!) computer (IN AN ENTIRE FACILITY) to to disrupt the Mecha briefly for our Titans to go for the kill was


3. LOL at Rebecca Hall's character realizing the penny dropped when Evil Villainess started siphoning energry from Hollow Earth. Girl, now you're alarmed that the private cybernetic corporation with its own private army and aircraft carriers doesn't have the best intentions? Like, seriously?

4. I have learned that the climb from the center of the earth to Hong Kong is less than two minutes. Sure, let's run with it.

5. Coach, I'm sorry you didn't have much to do. You are very handsome. Also, kind of a shit parent.
posted by Kitteh at 3:59 PM on April 2, 2021 [4 favorites]

oh snap wait

6. The Hollow Earth visuals were amazing and one of the few times I would have loved to see a movie in IMAX. If anything is a tribute to every Yes fan who wanted to live in one of their gatefold sleeves. (The upside down mountains freaked me when I thought about them too much.) I do wish my edible had kicked in sooner.

7. Most adorable small child I have seen in a film in a long time. Love her and Kong's bond.

8. It felt a little racist to have a sampan show up before Godzilla arrives in Hong Kong. Like, the audience needed reinforcement about what city or part of the world it was.
posted by Kitteh at 4:04 PM on April 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

I came to see a building-sized gorilla fight a nuclear dinosaur and then they teamed up to fight a robot so I was satisfied.

I agree that for an evil tech company, Apex sucks with security. But I kind of loved the "this movie was written by 14-year-olds" vibe. Like, let's just get to the good stuff.

The scale of everything seemed to change depending on how big Kong & Godzilla needed to be, but also, who cares? It's a movie where an ape is punching a lizard and then they're doing wrestling moves on a robot. I don't need realism.

I also feel like nothing was really at stake, or nothing really happened (other than Hong Kong getting destroyed. Poor Hong Kong).

But I had fun. And I have to give great thanks to this movie for being under 2 hours and not dragging this out closer to 3.
posted by edencosmic at 6:53 PM on April 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

8. It felt a little racist to have a sampan show up before Godzilla arrives in Hong Kong.

On-brand and somewhat subtle (lol) considering the entire Kong side still couldn't run away from the magical indigenous character (just not as dark as Jackson made them, eh).
posted by cendawanita at 7:45 PM on April 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

(that is more of an observation and if a critique, a long-standing one of these two IPs).
posted by cendawanita at 7:46 PM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

That was the most delightfully stupid thing I've seen in a good while. Very little of it made sense and there were no stakes other than the big CGI fight but a giant gorilla used a magic axe to fight a dinosaur with laser breath and then they teamed up against a giant robot dinosaur piloted by the ghost of exactly one third of an evil dragon. I don't need that to make sense or have other stakes.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:32 PM on April 3, 2021 [4 favorites]

Passes the Bechdel Test before the opening credits, even!
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:53 PM on April 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

OK, if you were in Pensacola, and I called you and said "I'm in Hong Kong" and then hung up, how long would it take you to find me? Like, five minutes, right?
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:55 PM on April 3, 2021 [5 favorites]

The single best thing about this movie is it's length, which keeps its fundamental absurdity from becoming tedious and lets it be entertaining. I really liked Godzilla's "charred" look and I think that we can all agree that there's no question that a huge atomic dinosaur inevitably beats a giant ape any day of the week.

I'm probably not the best judge of this because the MCU just isn't my thing, but how is it that the CGI in "Godzilla vs. Kong" looked so much better than any Marvel movie I've seen?
posted by wintermind at 8:21 PM on April 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

Well that was painful to watch.
posted by octothorpe at 8:35 PM on April 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I thought this was well paced dumb fun, and I especially enjoyed the ease with which various villain characters who nobody cared about were dispatched. I do wish there were a few more "civilians fleeing from the wreckage" shots, and the "conspiracy nut who hosts a podcast" trope is one that is much less sympathetic than it was a few years ago, but overall I was fine with the hand-waving and wooden dialog since it was all in the service of rapidly moving us to the next monster battle.
posted by whir at 9:00 PM on April 3, 2021 [4 favorites]

I have a laundry list of things I didn't like about the movie but overall I loved it and had a blast, which is kind of a refreshing old school blockbuster experience. I seriously think that there was a draft where the "hollow earth" turned out to be portals to another world, which is a much better idea, but then they went back to hollow earth late in the game and decided to still keep the visuals. The gravity inversion thing is that kind of laughably bad writing that breaks my suspension of disbelief because you can overcome the planet's gravity by jumping and the inversion would be like a ride on the Vomit Comet, not a deadly crushing thing. Also I'm very much not a fan of our protagonists dropping fluoride conspiracies unquestioned and having their overall arc be "they were right about conspiracy theories", that's toxic unnecessary shit.

But! Overall it was really fun and I liked it!

Also the MonsterVerse binge I did leading up to this made me realize that nobody has ever looked more like their name should be "Kyle Chandler" than Kyle Chandler.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:02 AM on April 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

I liked it overall. It felt like it was less self-aware about being a high-budget trashy b-movie than Godzilla: KotM and I think that hurt it a little. I suspect it will have broader appeal because of that, but I was really hoping for more moments like the, "Oh my God...zilla" or the Ken Watanabe, "Time for a new watch."
posted by forbiddencabinet at 2:06 PM on April 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's crazy how many people I've heard talking about this thing totally unprompted, I love the curveball that the first movie people flock to towards the end of the pandemic isn't a major event movie like a Tenet or Wonder Woman or James Bond or Black Widow but the big stupid fun fourth entry in a nostalgia bomb monster smashing franchise that could easily have become another Dark Universe.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:23 PM on April 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

This film gave us my favorite meme of the year.

I really enjoyed the classic Futura all-caps addition to the image of the two adversaries facing each other: HE CHONKE HE MONKE
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:36 AM on April 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

With the hundreds of millions in dollars in its budget you think they could of sprung to pay to license: Shock the Monkey for that one scene in the film.
posted by Captain_Science at 6:47 AM on April 5, 2021

We liked it! Over here, Team Godzilla was like 2 of us, with everyone else (incorrectly) joining Team Kong.

I did see the team-up happening, though I figured it was going to be the plot of a sequel of some kind. That is, we'd get a winner this go-round, and then an after-credit look at the Mecha, which is now nearly complete. In sequel, the victorious Titan has to go get the other one to win.

And hollow earth was cool stuff! I hope some lore gets fleshed out about the temple/throne-room. All in all, 8/10, would munch popcorn on the couch with kids all o'er the place again.
posted by jquinby at 11:09 AM on April 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

I really enjoyed that but had one complaint that I'm having trouble getting past. My wife taunted me because I could suspend my disbelief enough to believe there could be a giant ape fighting a giant lizard, and that there could be a hollow earth in the planet's core, but I drew the line at sunlight shining in the core of the center of the earth coming between two parallel horizons. Yeah, that was really distracting for me. How the fuck does that work?
posted by Stanczyk at 6:02 PM on April 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

sunlight shining in the core of the center of the earth

Ha, that got me too, and I was taunted in the exact same way. In fairness, you never actually see the sun. Maybe it's just exceptionally bright bioluminescent fungi.
posted by whir at 6:45 PM on April 6, 2021

How the fuck does that work?

It works very well.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:22 AM on April 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

I assumed that was the mysterious Hollow Earth Energy Source.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:15 AM on April 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

That was stupid. Even worse, it was boring. Godzilla and Kong peaked decades ago. Really good cgi couldn't makeup the difference.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:43 PM on April 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure the fight on the aircraft carrier was taken in part from Neon Genesis Evangelion, but if you're going to borrow, I suppose you could do worse.

Also glad to see Julian Dennison get work, he's so great in Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:21 PM on April 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

The DVD finally came out at under $20 so I grabbed it.
It's... okay. It's a monster movie with old-school monsters, so I can get into it. I was curious how the giant ape and the nuclear dinosaur would size up against each other. Somehow I always saw King Kong as smaller -- must be remembering him climbing tall buildings instead of towering over them.
I did not expect Mechagodzilla. That was cool.
The villains were not memorable. If I had looked away I would have missed their scenes.
Middle Earth was cool. It needed Brendan Frasier. It at least needed some rusted machinery to say "we have been here before, and it didn't end well then, either" for plot continuity.

The big disappointment was Millie Bobby Brown coming back as the same character. Don't get me wrong -- I liked her in the second Godzilla movie. But it was jarring to see Madison Russell go from "sad teenager trying to save the world in spite of her parents" to "goofy conspiracy theorist who knows what tap/no tap means."
I liked the oddball subplot with Julian Dennison and Bryan Tyree Henry, but another actor should have been brought in from G2.

Lots of destruction, no consequences. If you want to do it with a twist, look at "the Lost World: Jurassic Park" when the T-Rex wanders into the backyard.
The destruction and its aftermath was a major part of the first two Godzilla movies. It seems very downplayed in "Gozilla vs. Kong."

I seriously would have been on the deck having long conversations with Kong. What's your favorite meal? Beatles or Rolling Stones? Was Jessica Lange (Dwan, 1976 "King Kong") a mistake or a summer fling?

I haven't given up on the franchise, but each movie is further down on my list of preferences. G1 and "Kong: Skull Island" are the best, so far. The human subplots are better.
posted by TrishaU at 1:59 PM on September 14, 2021

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