Godzilla vs. Kong

Directed by Adam Wingard

This movie couldn’t have come at a better time. People are flocking to the partially reopened movie theatres just to get a taste of normal life, and this is what they are seeing. I don’t think nearly as many people would have seen this if it wasn’t for COVID, but I am really happy people are watching it because we all just need to have some fun.

All plot and characters aside, it is just an absolute throw-down smash and bash between the two heavyweight champions, Godzilla and Kong. There can only be one, and they absolutely tear each other up. How could that not be awesome? Well, it is awesome and I had a lot of fun watching it.

The puny human characters and their storylines got in the way of my fun a couple of times. Brian Tyree Henry’s character, the conspiracy theorist and podcaster was a lost opportunity. I have seen him in Atlanta and he is seriously funny, but his jokes in the movie mostly fell flat. He was really just an annoying stereotype that kept popping up on the screen. The journey to Middle-Earth was interesting, and I enjoyed how Kong was actually vital to the whole operation. It gave him something to do, something I could get behind, rather than just having him fight Godzilla.

The fight scenes, what I really came to see, were great. The first encounter between the two in the ocean was intense. Kong is jumping between battleships blowing everything up and Godzilla is jumping up out of the water after him like a great white shark on shark week. Then the last 45 minutes or so of the movie are just Kong and Godzilla ripping it up in downtown Hong Kong. That was all I ever wanted. The CGI is really well done and I loved how Kong fought like a human. He even takes the stance of a boxer a couple of times and lands a perfectly executed superman punch right to Godzilla’s dome piece.

The movie isn’t fantastic, but it isn’t trying to be. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. I get the sense that the filmmakers realized that this isn’t some artsy or story-driven film and just went all out to make it as enjoyable and fun to watch as possible. They did a great job of just making an action-packed entertaining movie and nothing more.

Godzilla vs. Kong might be available at your local theater with limited seating, or it is available to rent on HBO.

Rating: B


Zero Zero Zero

Directed by Stefano Sollima, Leonardo Fasoli, and Mauricio Katz, based on a book of the same title by Roberto Saviano

Zero Zero Zero follows three major components of a 900 million dollar cocaine deal– the buyers, the sellers, and the brokers. The buyers are the Italian mafia. The old leader of the Mafia has come out of hiding and is attempting to regain control and the loyalty of the families. The Sellers are the Mexican cartel. They are happy to package and ship the drugs but are unprepared for the attention it brings them. The brokers are an American family who runs an international shipping company. They have been smuggling drugs for years but after some unforeseen circumstances, they are left in over their heads.

This show is impressive. It has everything you would want in a crime show. It spans across the entire world and incorporates so many different languages and cultures. Yes, you have to read subtitles, grow up. The story itself has so many moving parts. It can go from the Italians feeding people to pigs to the Mexicans training a small army to the Americans trying to get out of a terrorist stronghold. When I first heard about it, I felt that it would suffer from trying to take on too much. It doesn’t. All the elements of the story are balanced perfectly. While the story takes on a lot, it still feels grounded because it follows one central thing– the biggest drug deal ever.

While it doesn’t suffer from its massive scale, some of the storytelling devices that are used to display that massive scale are a detriment to the show. I especially didn’t like how they handled it when two characters were split up. It would do the classic style of following one character until they need saving, then boom the other character shows up to save the day. Then it would shift to the other character’s perspective and what they did while separated to be able to come to save the day. It just felt so clunky and really slowed down the pacing of the story. Also, it completely takes the edge off of the big save the day moment because instead of enjoying it I was immediately taken to the past and had to basically watch the same thing happen again. This is done very frequently and while I can see why they had to do it so much, I feel like they could have found a better way to handle it. The ending also feels very anti-climatic. There was so much going on throughout the show and it felt like it was building up to a huge payoff, but it doesn’t. A few things happen that I could see coming from a mile away and everyone just goes about their lives like nothing happened.

All episodes of Zero Zero Zero are available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Rating: B-