Two overgrown mechanical monkeys battling it out against the backdrop of crumbling (studio-created) skyscrapers against a garish pinkish skyline that suggests a punk nemesis…is this all it takes for the global audience to come back to movie theatres?
The first post-lockdown blockbuster is high on spectacle but extremely low on plot development. Not that there is a scarcity of characters. There are two sets of characters hurling through the plot in hot pursuit of a way to stop the film’s two heroes, or rather one hero and the other anti-hero, King Kong and Godzilla from destroying what is left of the world after the mammalian monsters are done with it.
There is Dr Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) who teams up with Dr Ilene Andews (Rebecca Hall) and a little deaf girl Jia (Kaylee Hottle) who communicates with King Kong through sign language. The moments between Jia and Kong take a cursory dip into tenderness before rebooting into a kind of digital grand safari where everything seems larger than life and unreal and not in any flattering way.
The film packs in way too much human resources without tapping into the human characters in any meaningful dialogue between Man and Nature. The pretty Millie Bobby Brown plays Maddison who is interested in Godzilla’s erratic behavior. She teams up with a podcaster Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry) who behaves like a rapper strolling with swag into a global zoo, and a teenager Josh(Julian Dennison).
All these form a muddled melee of characters hovering around the plot trying to give it a humane angle when all that the film is really interested in is the clash between Kong and Godzilla. These are staged in the final 15-20 minutes with much clanging and clinking all amounting to nearly two hours of furious combats between the two heroes who don’t know they are not enemies. When they finally do join hands the plot heaves to a halt like a steamroller mowing through a vast landscape of plunderous possibilities amounting to zilch. Or nearly.
As for the special effects they are nothing to write home about. The movie looks like a pile of wreckage waiting reclamation from powers that have gone into deep thought on the course of action to be taken, and are unable come up with anything worth our while.
Image source: IMDb