Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong ★★

All three of the previous monsterverse films have had bad scripts and boring human plotlines that suck up waaay too much screentime. That said, they all also made up for that with a sense of weight, beauty and buildup. By the time you get to the final fights in each of those films, you really WANT Godzilla or Kong to destroy their enemy, giving these films a sense of momentum and buildup that justifies some of their dead air time.

Godzilla vs. Kong lacks these strengths and doubles down on the weaknesses. There is no sense of weight, as Kong parkours through Hong Kong and Godzilla actually fucking sprints and balances on a ship (This may seem minor but it destroys any sense of believability in the environment, leaving the characters feeling like action figures). There are far too many human characters (There are two whole separate plotlines that never even feel like they're in the same movie). And finally, the film has barely any action until the third act, but it puts no effort into building up to the title fight. As such, when Kong and Godzilla finally start fighting, it doesn't feel like an epic and inevitable conclusion, it just feels like a thing that's happening, without any real bearing on anything.

Of course the script is the biggest issue, but none of the films in these series have been strong on that front. A lot of the issues thus stem from director Adam Wingard. He's done excellent work with smaller films, but he crumbles under the weight of this film's scale. It's cinematography, the greatest strength of the other three, is bland and uninspired. It's action is uninteresting, and overall the entire film just feels like it wastes the few good ideas it has with poor implementation. Wingard did make one very good directorial decision: he keeps the film short.

The true final action sequence is kind of fun, but by that point I was so past caring about what was happening. Overall most of the biggest issues are not new to this film, but it fails to capitalize on the strengths that the series had shown up to this point.

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