Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong ★½

The cinematographic signature of a good Kaiju film has to do with two things: tactility (as in, an actor in a monster costume wreaking havoc over a miniature city set that's probably 80% foam core) and scale, with the monster shot in such a way that he appears huge, feet squashing throngs of people running for cover, etc. Despite the affordances of CGI, which perceptibly yields more bombast and mayhem or more mobilized fighting (it's endearingly apparent in old Godzilla movies that the actor in the suit can't turn his head without making wrinkles in the rubber costume) it never, ever feels like the same thing. Apart from the apocryphal first entry these films aren't so much disaster movies as they are highly imaginative LARPing, slapstick nihilism. That said, I was genuinely surprised and delighted by this film's non-eponymous third villain.

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