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Godzilla vs. Kong Is A Professional UFC Match

Spoilers

Let me tell you the truth: Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire is probably the silliest movie I've ever seen. Maybe it means that the only way they can be successful is by forgetting about complicated stories and just making the audience happy.

Let me be honest with you: Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire might just be the most ridiculous movie I've ever watched. It's not the worst (that dishonor goes to Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2), but it could easily take the crown for sheer absurdity. I'm almost embarrassed to admit to my mother that I sat through it, fearing her disappointment in thinking she raised a sensible child who didn't waste time and resources on such frivolity. Yet, ironically (sorry, mom), she did invest in my education so I could indulge in watching a film about a giant monkey fighting a lizard, all for profit. And you know what? I'd probably do it all over again.

Godzilla vs. Kong transcends categorization as "good" or "bad" or even as a typical "movie."It's more akin to an arena spectacle, resembling a professional wrestler roaring in the ring, pounding their chest, and amping up the jumbotron excitement meter before executing their signature move. With ruthlessly efficient pacing that sidelines elements, the script isn't concerned with (mostly humans) and amplifies its focus on colossal monsters engaging in wrestling maneuvers, the film consistently prioritizes escalation over narrative coherence. It is a testament to a ludicrous spectacle, a hilariously extravagant expenditure of $135 million. Here's hoping Warner Bros. continues to indulge in such extravagant ventures.

As the fifth installment in the MonsterVerse franchise, The New Empire swiftly brings viewers up to date. The world has undergone significant changes since the events of 2021's Godzilla vs. Kong. Earth has transformed, revealing a hollow interior housing an ecosystem of colossal monsters. King Kong now resides within this domain, grappling with loneliness and yearning for the companionship of fellow giant apes. Meanwhile, Godzilla has assumed the role of a roaming guardian, traversing the planet's surface to confront and combat other destructive creatures, known as "Titans," before taking breaks for naps in the Colosseum.

Godzilla still harbors animosity towards Kong, yet an unusual equilibrium is established with Kong residing within the Hollow Earth and Godzilla reigning over its surface. However, Godzilla vs. Kong employs highly contrived methods to disrupt this balance, weaving through three intertwined narrative threads. Describing them as "stories" seems somewhat generous.

  1. Godzilla's erratic behavior leads him on a global quest for substantial radiation sources to enhance his power.
  2. Kong, residing within the Hollow Earth, seeks companionship among his own kind and discovers a concealed settlement under the tyrannical rule of another ape named Skar, who harbors ambitions of conquering the surface world.
  3. Dr. Ilene Andrews (portrayed by Rebecca Hall) leads a small group of humans on an expedition into the Hollow Earth, driven by the psychic visions experienced by Jia (played by Kaylee Hottle), Andrews' adopted daughter and Kong's sole human companion, in search of their origin.

Delving extensively into The New Empire's storyline seems absurd, as the screenplay, attributed to Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett, and Jeremy Slater, scarcely lingers on these elements. The plot merely serves its purpose, with characters hastily delivering exposition and conveniently stumbling upon the inspiration needed for the next plot development. The focus lies squarely on the monsters, with director Adam Wingard meticulously showcasing their presence. Kong, in particular, receives significant attention—the sole character in the film with a genuine, Ghidorah-worthy character arc.

In this film, Kong undergoes a myriad of experiences. He undergoes his inaugural dental procedure, administered by the utterly eccentric Titan veterinarian named Trapper, portrayed by Dan Stevens. Kong forms a bond with a small ape possessing a feisty demeanor and discovers a sense of belonging within a community. He also reconciles with a former adversary, resulting in genuinely heartwarming moments, albeit amidst the cacophony of the film's loud proceedings.

Following the grandiose yet relatively conventional Godzilla vs. Kong, Wingard's sequel exudes an aura of liberation, shedding any semblance of adherence to the tone set by Gareth Edwards' more grounded and reverential 2014 Godzilla. This departure is somewhat refreshing. Unlike its predecessors, which straddled the uncertain terrain between disaster spectacle and environmental parable, Wingard's latest installment adopts a more straightforward approach. With The New Empire, he poses a straightforward question: Is there a profound spiritual need within you to witness Godzilla executing a suplex on King Kong?

It's incredibly entertaining to witness these colossal, nonverbal monsters roaring their way through the pivotal plot moments reminiscent of numerous blockbuster franchises. There's a certain commentary there, I believe, on their inherent absurdity and lack of depth. Perhaps it suggests that the only path to their success lies in forsaking any facade of narrative complexity and simply catering to the audience's primal enjoyment.

Reading more:

Godzilla (1954): The Eternal Icon

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