Cinema Dispatch: Trailer Talk (Godzilla vs Kong)

Godzilla vs Kong and all the images you see in this trailer talk are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Adam Wingard

Warner Bros’ bold move to release their movies on streaming the same day as theaters is going to be one of the more interesting stories of 2021, and this film is probably going to be the one indicate its direction.  Sure they gave us Wonder Woman 1984, but that had been delayed so long and theaters were still staying closed for the foreseeable future that it almost felt like WB throwing the world a bone or perhaps even a Christmas present.  A present that was pretty wonky and not nearly as its predecessor, but I guess it’s the thought that counts.  This one is a bit different because the vaccine means that people are going to try and get back to a normal life; some faster than others while the responsibility of such actions remains… dubious at best.  I’m HOPING things get fixed before the Summer, but I’m guessing there’s going to be more than enough people out there saying it’s already fixed today.  So with that said, this movie is one that COULD conceivably be delayed for a full theater release without waiting too long, but WB is committed to this strategy and we’ll have to see how it pays off for them; if releasing these big blockbusters on streaming will build up HBO Max enough to offset the costs, or if they are just throwing money down the drain because they couldn’t wait for a safer time to release.  As interesting as all that is though, we’re here to talk about the trailer that they released so let’s take a look at it!

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My biggest fear going into this is that I was NOT a fan of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and that this would be a continuation of that.  I found the whole thing rather insufferable with just how much the overwrought drama weighed down the monster fighting action of which there was already a dearth of.  Oh sure, you can go back to the Japanese Godzilla films and point out how much human drama was in THOSE, but first I wouldn’t say they were SPECTACULAR either, and second they didn’t have a bloated runtime dragging things down even more.  Twenty minutes of Kaiju action in a ninety minute movie is better than twenty-five minutes of Kaiju action in a hundred and thirty minute movie; especially when the action itself is obscured by so much bad weather.  Frankly the giant dudes in costumes brawling in full day light may not have looked the best but had a lot more charm than King of the Monsters. 

TEAM KONG, ALL THE WAY!!

You know what movie DID have a similar run time with heavy themes but STILL managed to be fun and exhilarating with lots of Kaiju action?  Kong: Skull Island which was one of my favorite films of 2017 and thankfully it looks like this movie is going to borrow heavily from that aesthetic.   Trailers don’t always tell the truth, but it looks much more action heavy as I counted at least three fight scenes and a smattering of single monster action scenes, and they all have the feel of Kong’s garish comic book action than Godzilla’s more languid and methodical spectacles.  Much brighter environments for them to fight in, the action looks to have a lot more speed and impact, and an overall adventurous spirit to it as Kong seems to be on some sort of quest while Godzilla is constantly showing up to hassle like an inconvenient rival in a Pokémon game.  They gave Kong a freaking ax for crying out loud so I’m not too worried that the action is going to disappoint this time!

“YOU!  SHALL BE!  AXED!!”

What may STILL prove to be an issue though are the human characters which if the action feels more like Kong than they feel much more like King of the Monsters.   Heck, they didn’t bother getting ANYONE from Kong back to be in this if IMDb is to be trusted, though I guess that DID take place in the seventies but that still doesn’t mean they couldn’t put Tom Hiddleston or Brie Larson in old age makeup!  The only character returning from a previous film (at least as far as IMDb knows) is Millie Bobby Brown who looks like she’s in the Helen Hunt role from Twister only instead of chasing storms she’s chasing monsters; also similar to the Godzilla Prediction Network from Godzilla 2000.   We also have Alexander Skarsgård and Rebecca hall on hand as the presumptive protagonists along with a young girl who has some sort of connection with Kong and will presumably be driving the conflict between him and Godzilla.  Speaking of which, what IS the conflict here?  Godzilla is seemingly acting out of character as we last saw him assume a protector role, but now he’s acting like a jerk which only means two things; he’s either Mecha Godzilla or he’s being controlled by aliens.  Unfortunately I doubt either one of these, but I guess we’ll have to see where it all goes.

“Alright, just hear me out on this.  Crab People.”     “Crab People?”     “Crab People.”     “Let’s put that one in the Maybe column…”

So as a trailer, does it get me excited for the movie?  For the most part, yes it does.  It’s got some big action sizzle and a fun song on the soundtrack to indicate a much less serious tone as compared to King of the Monsters.  I’m definitely getting a few Pacific Rim Uprising vibes from it which I’m sure is a bad omen for everyone else but I really enjoyed that movie and I hope this takes a similar, albeit it better constructed, approach by focusing on fun and energy instead of drowning us in dread and despair.  If nothing else, they gave King Kong an ax, so I’m gonna call this a TOTAL success!  Godzilla better get some nunchucks in the next trailer or maybe he can show up like Tuxedo Mask and throw a bunch of tree sized roses at Kong!

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