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Review Godzilla vs. Kong (2021): Highly flawed but fun. For the most part it gives what the fans want!

genre: kaiju, action, adventure, science fiction

When it was announced that Godzilla vs. Kong was going to be a thing I can't deny that excitement got a hold for me for a few minutes. Then reality hit and I hoped and prayed that this MonsterVerse film would be more like Kong: Skull Island. Because let's face it. It's the only American that seemed to get what the fans really want.

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts was done with monster films but said that he would not discount returning after he rocked Kong: Skull Island. Unfortunately he did not return. Instead Adam Wingard took over the helm. You might know him from the excellent The Guest and You're Next. In those movies he demonstrated that he understood the sub genres and that he is capable of adding his own unique touch to them. In that regard I think the film was in good hands. And for the most part I think he delivered. However I will never understand Hollywood's obsession with infusing human characters into these films so much. Granted they need to have some role. But in service of the monsters and not the other way around. Hollywood seems incapable of letting the monsters take center stage. I didn't care for any of the human characters. The only time I did was in Kong: Skull Island because they actually were a good addition and never detracted from the monster action as it's supposed to be. You will have to endure the antics of a super paranoid security guy who seems to be able to deduce events and developments just from seeing certain objects once. It's truly amazing and utterly annoying. I know he is there for comic relief. Except he wasn't really that funny. I'd rather had John C. Reilly return. At least he provided real laughs and some dramatic impact to boot. A real deaf actress is introduced and why I don't really understand the forced inclusion of all kinds of minorities she did have some nice chemistry with Kong. For some reason Milli Bobby Brown is dragged into this film as well. She does very little to be honest. I guess the only reason she is there is to tie in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The villains of the story also are only there to put a giant plot element forward. They themselves have little to no depth. Even if the actors try to ham it up big time.

I am actually surprised how little is going on story wise. And on the one hand that is a real shame. On the other hand who cares? All I want is to see some A grade monster action and in the end that is what you get. Incredibly predictable but oh so satisfying. It's obvious we are supposed to root for Kong who easily is a favourite of mine too. Still I can't help but feel that Godzilla deserved more love and attention. He is present at the most pivotal moments. But he is not there as much as I would have like to. He is more like a side character in his own film. This is why it's particularly upsetting that a lot of screen time goes to the human characters instead of him. Anyway the action scenes were awesome and even had an emotional impact on me. Can't deny that most of it is purely nostalgia and love for these monsters. And that casual viewers won't understand what actually is going on. But to be honest that will always be a problem when it comes to genre films. I for one am glad that this Hollywood film at least delivered the goods even it is in somewhat handicapped form.

Overall Godzilla vs. Kong delivers. I really regret it that I have not been able to watch this in the cinema. I surely hope this pandemic will end soon. And when it does I hope they will re-release this film on the big screen so that I can enjoy it as is intended. 

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