‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ a good time at the movies

Two legendary monsters are once again drawn to each other in 'Godzilla vs. Kong.' The pair show little to no mercy against each other, or to anyone and anything in the vicinity.

“Godzilla vs. Kong” does not disappoint. It’s a movie where the giant lizard and the giant ape show little to no mercy against each other, or to anyone and anything in the vicinity, while laying the smackdown on each other.

I think what I liked most about the movie is that it has something to please fans of either legendary creature. Even though I rooted for King Kong, I can admit that Godzilla whupped him at least once, just like Kong did the same to Godzilla.

The plot, for the most part, is pleasingly simple. Godzilla is drawn to once again wreak havoc, getting into a dominance battle with Kong. For his part, Kong is outgrowing his home and develops a sorta-family relationship with Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), her colleague Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) and deaf youngster Jia (Kaylee Hottle).

Who would have guessed that monsters in turmoil is more interesting than corporate intrigue? It’s not that I didn’t like watching plucky Madison (Millie Bobby Brown), whistleblowing Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry) and comic relief Josh (Julian Dennison) team up to find out what’s up with Apex Cybernetics, it’s just that for too long, their antics felt like filler, an unmistakable “B story.”

“Godzilla vs. Kong” was directed by Adam Wingard, with a screenplay by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein and a story by Terry Rossio and Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields. Readers, you know that I’m generally not a fan of movies created by committee — “and” means that they worked separately; “&” means a team — but it wasn’t a deal breaker this time around. I simply was having that good of a time.

The movie’s cast also includes Shun Oguri, Eiza González and Demián Bichir as Apex bigwigs. What their characters lack in depth, they make up for with charisma and chutzpah. One of my biggest smiles came when Walter Simmons (Bichir), caught between Madison and her crew as well as Apex’s new toy, launched into a good old-fashioned villain’s monologue.

I guess everything old is new again. I give “Godzilla vs. Kong” my Recommended rating.

Forgive me for writing a shorter than usual review. I guess I’m a little bit rusty. Do you know that “Godzilla vs. Kong” was the first movie I’ve seen outside my home in more than 13 months?

“Of all the people in Thalia, Billy missed the picture show most. He couldn’t understand that it was permanently closed. Every night he kept thinking it would open again.”

The author Larry McMurtry died last month. You might not know his name, but I’ll bet you know some of the stories he adapted or originally wrote. There’s “Brokeback Mountain,” “Lonesome Dove,” “Terms of Endearment,” “Hud” (from his book “Horseman, Pass By”) and the one I just quoted from, “The Last Picture Show.”

I thought quite a bit about “The Last Picture Show” during what seemed to be the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the new and active cases kept on growing. Before we had an idea about vaccine effectiveness and it wasn’t yet familiar to wear a face mask. When places like the Cinema 6 in Breckenridge, Minnesota, closed.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I was surprised at how choked up I felt to see cars in the parking lot outside the Westridge Theatre, which reopened last weekend in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. I was surprised at how good the popcorn was and how sweet my drink tasted. Shoot, even just seeing new posters on the walls and knowing new releases were coming was comforting.

It felt good to see Westridge Manager Melaney Weinkauf and her staff. She said it was nice to see some of the locals make it out to a movie. For me, it was nice to have a movie to make it out to.

I give going out to the theatre again my Highly Recommended rating.

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