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Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)


Godzilla vs. Kong featured a lot of actors; Ronny Chieng, Lance Reddick, Millie Bobby Brown, Alexander Skarsgård, Julian Dennison, and more. Every single one of them distracted from what this movie was about, two giant creatures battling each other.

The film tries to tie together Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island. It wastes time tying the two stories together through explicit explanation from the human characters. All that needed to be done was getting Kong and Godzilla in the same place at the same time and let them go at it.

Fortunately, Godzilla and Kong fight not just once but three times. Not all the fights are city-destroying but don’t worry they level plenty of real estate. You don’t have to worry about the loss of human life because in this universe evacuations are commonplace and instantaneous. The fight scenes are exactly what you would expect from this film and worth the price of admission. This is all you come to this movie to see right, two monsters wailing on each other.

If you step away from the action and pay attention to the people part of the film, it is a bit problematic. Kattie Hottle plays Jia, a deaf native of Skull Island. She is adopted by Dr. Ilene Andrews, Rebecca Hall. Kattie Hottle is a deaf actress as is her character, Jia. Will Jia become the next Marlee Matlin? This movie is no Children of a Lesser God. Where this becomes problematic is that it feeds into the stereotype of natives being connected with the earth in some ‘other’ way. Jia is not only deaf, but she is an ‘other’ that can communicate with Kong unlike any of the white people. It is a common historic troupe.

Time for a history lesson, the original Godzilla movie was released in Japan in 1954 as Gojira. It was re-released in the United States in 1956 as Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The US release was an edited version of the original with Raymond Burr, a white American, inserted into the film. The original film was a commentary about the US bombing of Japan. Godzilla was fueled by nuclear explosions. It demonized the United States. The path of Godzilla’s destruction mimicked the destruction of the two nuclear bombs dropped by the United States. The Americanization takes out all the negative commentaries towards the United States. Godzilla today is far removed from its origins, but it is a story that Hollywood stole from Japan and made it their own. Once you see the original film and understand its place in history, all Godzilla movies become a little problematic when US-led teams are in charge.

This film will deliver on your expectation for epic monster battles. You will have to sit through a bunch of explanation that is not interesting in the least. You will also question how each character knows so much and so little at the same time. It's best to hang in there less you miss any part of the battle.

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