Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong ★★★½

Honestly I feel like there's one truly transcendent Godzilla movie per era (with MonsterVerse awkwardly shoved in with the more apt Showa/Heisei etc divisions) and the rest dance around a spectrum of very good to awful. The Edwards one was the attempt to recapture the truly fearsome, atmospheric horror of the original, while the next two have bumped against the hard ceiling on these things. King of the Monsters upped the spectacle but leaned too hard into the Trump era faddish nihilism of thinking we all had it coming, but this to me feels the most like a classic Godzilla movie, just the right amount of whimsically stupid, emotionally direct and monster whalloping. As the characters talk about a rogue Godzilla like a close friend whose behavior they cannot explain, or take science to the limits of magical thinking, it all gets silly, but in the same way the old movies were. Whatever flaws are here (and there are many) are endemic to the nature of the franchise, while the virtues come closer to aligning to the goofy spirit of the Japanese sequels than any American production to date.

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