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Godzilla vs Kong: Dawn of Justice Cannoli Send a noteboard - 06/04/2021 04:02:55 AM

It's not the title, but it could be. The only issue with that is it would possibly be considered a spoiler.

Anyway, it was a good flick if you like the subject matter. The major problem is the absurd insistence of the producers in casting children. I don't recall anyone coming out of Godzilla: King of Monsters saying "You know what made that movie? Madison!" I don't get the fascination Hollywood has with Millie Bobby Brown anyway. She is, I suppose, a good actor for an adolescent girl, but she's still an adolescent girl, about which no one gives a damn but adolescent boys or the specific parents of a particular adolescent girl (and often not even them, depending on how their last conversation with her went), and her range of characters seems to be limited to particularly unpleasant ones at that. Two seasons of Stranger Things was more than my limit, and Eleven was less of an interesting character than a McGuffin. Then someone decided the actress herself was the draw, rather than her superpowers and season 2 wandered off into plot cul de sacs following her pointless adventures. And it's the same thing in this franchise. The point of Madison in G:KoM is that she's a reason for her father to become invested in the operations against Monarch, because they've kidnapped her. Otherwise, Mark actually has more reason to root against the good guys, considering how horrible his ex-wife was plus the fact that she looks like Vera Farmiga (and for those interested in sexualizing Brown, there is far too much of a family resemblance for me to be interested in what she grows up to look like).

Anyway, in GvK, Madison is a spunky proactive teenager who thrusts herself implausibly into an investigation of the new suspicious corporation, Apex Cybernetics, mostly by being obnoxious and having the plot warp itself to make her right or successful. There is a comic relief fat kid who lurches along in her wake and a grown-up enabler, played by Brian Tyree Henry, whom I last saw employed to much better effect as a urban crimeboss going into semi-legit politics in "Widows". Their entire plot could absolutely have been excised with no detriment to the movie. They do not do or say anything relevant to its resolution except possibly making the antagonist Titan blink during the climatic fight, and that through a ridiculously slapstick method. Even as point of view characters they were superfluous, as their inside look at Apex Cybernetix could have been from the perspective the Apex boss Demian Bichir and his daughter, Eisa Gonzalez (seriously, ANY amount of increased screen time for Gonzalez at the expense of Brown is a double gain for a movie), and Bichir's righthand man Shun Oguri.

Woke side-bar: I can't help but notice that this current trend of jamming science & tech girls into genre movies to promote women in STEM fields seems to come at the expense of minority characters. Brown gets to shine, while the black Henry and Pacific Islander Julian Dennison are her comic sidekicks, and as previously mentioned, a pair of Hispanic characters could have contributed everything Brown might have to the plot. I recall something similar in the last Jurassic movie, with a white-appearing obnoxious female scientist was presented as a smart badass (despite, as a dinosaur veterinarian, being technically on the wrong side in a Jurassic movie), while her black costar Justice Smith played a cowardly emasculated comic relief. And though I didn't see it, I understand they inserted yet another science/tech-y white girl into the live action "Dumbo" while excising the most prominent black characters from the cartoon. /sidebar

Another pointless little girl is a deaf child who at the outset of the film is living with Kong. It is explained in dialogue that her family was lost in some disaster and Kong has sort of adopted her. Rebecca Hall, a scientist studying Kong, presumably does the actual in loco parenting. As with Brown, there is no reason for the kid to be there, aside from forcing you to keep an eye on the screen lest you miss some sign language dialogue between her and Hall. She does nothing that Hall should not have been able to do and adds nothing to the story, aside from, again, being obnoxious, which is a rather impressive feat, given that she does no vocalizing.

And that's all the bad. Beyond that is the plot, following up on G:KoM, in which two of Godzilla's most prominent classic adversaries were absent, and that lack is rectified in this. Kong's absence from the Titan Quickening of the prior film is explained satisfactorily. However, Bichir & Ogun approach a scientist, Alexander Skarsgard with technology to prove his hollow earth theory, which, in turn, inspires the theory that Kong mght somehow help in finding the way to the hollow part whence it is believed all the Titans come. Except doing so would risk a clash between Kong and Godzilla, which Hall is trying to prevent, as she is studying Kong and has a vested interest in his survival, or has possibly fallen in love with him, as seems to be a thing in his film appearances.

You see, for some reason, Godzilla has suddenly started attacking cities and humans, and now people are rethinking the idea that he's some sort of benevolent protector, and Apex Cybernetics in particular, is gearing up to do something about our erstwhile hero.

The monster fights are very well done, with distinctive combat styles for Kong and Godzilla, the former utilizing his primate dexterity and ape agility, and the latter, his superior power and reptilian intensity, going in hard for a kill like a lizard or snake. The outcome and resolution of their conflicts should be satisfying to partisans of either monster (Team Godzilla for life! ), and the new twist on a classic Toho monster is well done, though there will probably be bitching about plot holes and fridge logic. To which I say the entire premise of the movie is to physics and zoology as "Sharknado" is to meteorology, so don't even bother. In addition to the visuals of the monster combat, there is also the spectacular hollow world setting, with the surface on the inside of a hollow space in the core of the Earth, so that the sky in any given scene is actually an aerial view of a landscape. Possibly the only drawback of the concept (beyond "who built that door?" ) is that the movie is so busy and preoccupied with Titans fighting that we see little of it, beyond a few scenes to establish the physics and show that there are monsters there, along with hints of Kong's origin.

There's a lot of interesting ideas at work in this film, and the major drawback is that they don't get serviced enough, exacerbating the frustrations of Madison's unnecessary plotline and even more superfluous reaction shots of Kyle Chandler contributing even less. But the draw here is the monster fights and that's what we get, and done well. It's fun.

Cannoli
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
*MySmiley*
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Godzilla vs Kong: Dawn of Justice - 06/04/2021 04:02:55 AM 36 Views

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