Godzilla vs. Kong: no better than Bowser vs. Donkey Kong (review)

The new opus of the franchise may be spectacular at times, it is nonetheless very disappointing.

On this Saturday, December 25, Canal + is broadcasting for the first time on television Godzilla vs. Kong, released in April 2021 directly on VOD because of the Covid-19 epidemic.

Obviously, Godzilla vs. Kong is a pure cinema film, to be seen on the big screen, as big as possible, with an optimum sound to be blown with each punch of the giant American gorilla, on the muzzle of the irradiated imitation dino of Japanese origin. Obviously, discovering this kind of blockbuster on a television is not desirable. But we have to do well with the times. The pandemic is here. The rooms are closed. And it is therefore in VOD that is released today in France Godzilla vs. Kong.

In this direct sequence of Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters, humanity has learned to live with these titans who can ravage everything in an instant. Fortunately, the Alpha Male, the most powerful of all, has no belligerent intentions with Man. As long as we leave him alone, he spends his time snoozing at the bottom of the oceans. Except that Godzilla suddenly decides to attack a research base in Southeast Asia. Would he suddenly become an unstoppable threat? The Monarch Organization then relies on Kong, an equally formidable phenomenal gorilla and candidate for the title of Alpha, hidden for years by the scientists who brought him back from Skull Island to precisely avoid a new wrath from Godzilla …

Of course, the two powerful Alphas will cross paths and it will hurt. On the fighting side, there is nothing to complain about. Godzilla vs. Kong hits hard. Visually, the CGI overdose doesn’t burn the retina too much, and the footage is spectacular enough to impress, though Adam Wingard’s directing often lacks inspiration. The problem is that this outburst of brute force leaves us completely unmoved.

This fourth film in the franchise MonsterVerse advances stupidly, mechanically, towards its obligatory crossing points, from the “Round one” to the “Final Round”. If we remove the gigantism of the thing, we could sum up the film to a vintage video game match, Bowser vs. Donkey Kong, of disconcerting poverty. Because the most absurd in Godzilla vs. Kong, this is not the quarrel of the Kaijus. To be honest, we still devour with children’s eyes a good old wild explanation between two monsters larger than life … as long as it is well brought! Except that the blockbuster has completely neglected the before, after, around.

Godzilla vs.  Kong
Warner Bros.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, anything that is not baston is monstrously absurd. Screenwriters Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein clearly wanted to put too much into it and we’re writing three films in one, without tail or head. Disjointed plots, which fit together as badly as the pieces of different puzzles. Still pass this wobbly rip-off of Journey to the Center of the Earth – sort of involuntary parody of Ice Age III -, but the whole part with Millie Bobby Brown is undeniably superfluous. As if stacked on the main frame, to bring the star back Stranger Things (arrival in 2019 in Godzilla 2), and keep it at the heart of the franchise. Without humans thick enough by their side to make them glow, the two creatures end the movie as flushed as us, leaving a aftertaste of much ado about nothing. Perhaps the worst thing about a film like this. Better to rekindle your good old Super Nintendo.

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