Godzilla and Kong’s The Neon Demon.
I think it’s easy for somebody to argue that because this movie is about dumb, giant monsters fighting than it gets a free-pass for having dumb writing, but I digress: Godzilla and Kong are obviously not just dumb, shallow creatures as set up by the previous movies, and creature-feature fighting is not “dumb” it is f**king quality, on-edge blockbuster entertainment when done effectively — ask Peter Jackson or Gareth Edwards; they did it right! I can however say that as stereotypically unimaginative as the human characters are in Godzilla vs. Kong, at least some of them are competently realized unlike Michael Dougherty’s King of Monsters. Yet, just because they are, doesn’t mean how they get to those moments in their arcs are competently realized themselves.
The writing of Adam Wingard’s launch into this franchise I’d give a “D-” at best; there is no way the script for this wasn’t crapped out in under just an hour, with a plot that articulates at its own random desire whenever the hell it needs to to either show the audience essential exposition that could easily be obtained believably with a little more effort put into story fluidity or when it creates sudden solutions and conflicts out of thin air. Whoever wrote the comedy in this also needs to be fired immediately, because it missed on EVERY SINGLE account. Don’t even get me started on how this movie attempts to add to the “we are the creators of our own destruction” motif; in a nutshell, it is conducted under the most outspokenly predictable clichés known to humankind.
The true savior of Godzilla vs. Kong for me though has to be its surprisingly wonderful world-building and the “candyland” aesthetic of VFX to accompany it. Wingard’s cutesy musical decisions also kept me from completely shredding this one apart; what a likable opening scene! Ultimately, on the visual and sound level this movie is at least… visible and audible… not plagued by schizophrenic cutting, dim lighting, and abominable mixing… and of course its furthermore colorfully presented unlike the last entry, so when the fighting gets down and dirty it is mildly enjoyable to watch if you don’t think about how we got to it too laboriously. But, needless to say, that makes up a tiny margin of this insufferable movie as a whole. I despise it whenever something with potentially badass action ends up being drowned out by our simple habit to give into “laziness”, and if you ask me, the legends of Godzilla and Kong finally coming together again deserved way more than just “laziness”.
“Godzilla vs. Kong” is now playing in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max.