Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg discuss Godzilla vs. Kong – locus online
In our review of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, we said, “The weakness of this movie was the humans and the forces were the monsters, and there weren’t enough monster moments.” Good. The movie studios have listened. Godzilla vs. Kong centers the monsters more than ever, not only offering several decent-length fight scenes and in varied locations, but even developing a story arc for Kong: This monster is not only a pretty face, but an enterprising protagonist. trip, although simplistic.
You almost forget that, technically, there’s this whole other plot going on, involving humans. The point of the film, really, is the monster fights. The opening credits even feel like a video game, with Godzilla and Kong going through fighter after fighter to reach boss level. All other elements of the movie are just the pretense of serving battles and maybe cleaning up your palace before the next round of combat. The characters are forgettable, the plot details are mundane or laughable, and the logic of the story is very slim.
But we came for the monster fights, right?
Josh: I liked the opening credit streak, actually. It was designed like Japanese woodblock illustrations and went through the entire backstory very quickly, similar to Submarineopening. It was probably the highlight, for me.
Arley: Overall it was a fun movie….
Josh: He’s advertised as Godzilla vs. Kong, and it has held up. So, if we discuss, “Did the film achieve what it set out to do?” I would say yes, it provided some monster fights, but that’s basically it had make.
Arley: I feel like with this one they were all, “We’ve heard from the fans, and we’re going to correct our mistakes.” This movie was mostly a fight between monsters. They gave you monsters fighting in different places, they gave you different moves, they gave you different matches.
The film opens with Kong waking up, diving into a waterfall and throwing a homemade spear, all in the light of day. It blatantly shows the current state of CGI effects. And for the money spent, it looks good. Unlike the last Godzilla movie, where many scenes were obscured by rain or darkness, this one displays its cutting edge effects, including close-ups of growling mouths and a sequence that feels like a ride from Universal. Studios. The action is easy to see, and the film emphasizes the details of the creature (many of which will delight longtime Godzilla fans). If a casual footage isn’t as smooth or reads a bit more like a video game, it’s forgivable.
Arley: I miss guys in rubber suits a bit.
Josh: I actually enjoy movies that have semi-crappy effects. If they do model work, or puppetry, or even stop motion, or a combination of those things and then fill in the gaps with CGI, it just looks more impressive because of the amount of work and craftsmanship. which are devoted to it.
Arley: Sometimes those models work and the puppet effects are really good, like in Extraterrestrial and Aliens. And because it’s a model or a puppet, I personally feel like your brain registers that there is something physical in this space with this person. I feel like with CGI, no matter how good it is, your brain just knows it’s digital, it’s not real.
Josh: Okay. I’ve said this before, but I’m not exactly that keen on CGI things hitting each other. After a while, I get bored of saying, “Okay, you hit yourself again.” I thought Mechagodzilla looked cool, because he was a robot, so I started to encourage myself for that. I thought the rest of the movie was very silly.
Arley: I really think this movie is more for the fans. For people who have watched Godzilla movies over the years, or who are really enter it; or for children. Because sci-fi stuff just doesn’t make sense.
Josh: The whole hollow earth subplot was really overkill and completely shattered my suspension of disbelief. I can buy a giant atomic lizard and a giant gorilla hitting each other, for the most part, but once they get into flying cars and go through a portal to the center of the Earth where it’s sunny for a reason any…. And that’s pretty much useless for the plot. I’m sure they explained it all, but I stopped listening whenever there was a human on the screen.
The “Gravest Moments” rewards for the shattered suspension of disbelief go to Godzilla blowing a hole up to the Earth’s Hollow Center (for Josh) and, right after, King Kong coming out of Earth’s Hollow Center in a minute or two (for Arley).
Arley: In the last one we complained about the stupid human intrigue, and in this one they are like, okay, the toxic white dude that everyone hated? (AKA Kyle Chandler as Mark Russell.) We’re going to downplay him completely, and have him react to moments of shock. We’re going to center Millie Bobby Brown and her motley gang (Julian Dennison as Josh Valentine and Bryan Tyree Henry as Bernie Hayes) and they’ll continue Goonies– as a quest to understand and stop the conspiracy.
Josh: I like that they dismissed Mark Russell, because he was the worst part of the last one. Then they brought in Alexander Skarsgård and he was just as terrible. I returned to our review of King of monsters, and the main complaint I had about it was that it was too dark, with no self-aware campiness. But I think it could have gone a little too far the other way around on this one. There’s a balance to be found in there somewhere, and they haven’t quite found it.
Arley: It’s because you haven’t seen the original version of this movie! (laughs) King Kong looked terrible in it. And soon after, the Godzilla movies started to get really campy.
More like a superhero movie, the hokey, sci-fi elements are reminiscent of comics where, for example, being bombarded by gamma rays or cosmic rays gives you superpowers (definitely don’t try them at home ). Combined with the predictable plot of two main characters from separate stories that initially clash, ultimately teaming up against the real villain, and you have Batman vs. Superman.
Josh: Just like Batman would never have a chance against Superman, King Kong would never have a chance against Godzilla.
Arley: We will be here All night long if we take this route! They had superficial hits on meaning and themes, which were still just excuses to get to the next monster fight. At first they had the theme of captivity as poisonous and he’s portrayed as Kong throwing the spear, he screams about being imprisoned, then they exacerbate that and try to develop sympathy for it by showing that he’s actually smart, that he can communicate, then he growls at his chains, then Godzilla comes in and he’s struggling against his chains, and it’s all like all that kind of “captivity, bad” theme. He is very Star Trek. All we’re missing is Kirk’s monologue on free will or something like that.
Josh: I know Godzilla already literalizes the metaphor – he’s an act of God, or a force of nature, or a nuclear fusion – but it’s like the American versions are trying to literalize the literalization of the metaphor, to go. further. , and it fails.
Arley: A lot of times in the original Godzilla movies they’re like, “Because aliens. Now what?”
Josh: I would accept that!
There are a few other notes we can add to this review – the score (like John wiswell Arley pointed out in a separate conversation) was pretty much straight out of Steel man; Kong had a story arc, while Godzilla certainly didn’t, which might have something to do with the rights agreement between Legendary Pictures and Toho expiring in 2020 – but at this point we’ve probably covered. the film more in depth than it deserves. .
Josh: Wish I had seen an old school, sci-fi pulp version of this: Arthur Conan Doyle style the Lost world combined with Jules Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth. You know, like the original King Kong.
Arley: Mechagodzilla looked cool. And there are all of these things about it that are callbacks to old school Mechagodzilla, which was really fun.
Josh: There’s actually a perfectly good base movie of a three-sided monster fight that doesn’t need any of the other wacky elements. I don’t think I would recommend this movie to anyone over the age of 14. My nephew is around that age, and he would probably like it, so there’s definitely an audience.
Arley: I loved it. I mean, okay, loved is a weird word. But it amused me a lot. It was better than the last.
Josh: It’s Godzilla vs. Kong. It is literally that. This is the criticism.
Directed by: Adam wingard
Written by: Terry rossio, Michael dougherty, Zach shields, Eric Pearson & Max Borenstein
With: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Room, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick & Kyle Chandler
ARLEY SORG, Editor-in-Chief, grew up in England, Hawaii and Colorado. He lives in Oakland, California. A 2014 Odyssey writing workshop graduate, Arley is co-editor of Fantastic magazine, Associate writer and editor at Speed of light & Nightmare magazines, interviewing at Clarkesworld Magazineand reviewer for Cascadia Subduction Zone Charger. It can be found at arleysorg.com – where he started his Series of “occasional interviews” with authors and editors – and on Twitter (@arleysorg).
JOSH PEARCE, Associate Editor, started working at Location in 2016. He studied Creative Writing at SFSU and sold short stories and poems to various speculative fiction magazines. Born and raised in the Bay Area, he currently lives in East Bay with his wife and sons and spends far too much time on Twitter: @fictionaljosh. Ken Jennings once signed his chest.
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