REVIEW: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

The enormous ape ‘Kong’ (right) journeys to the center of the Earth and goes head to head with the giant radioactive lizard ‘Godzilla’ (left) in Adam Wingard’s GODZILLA vs. KONG — Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures.

Directed by Adam Wingard (‘The Guest’; ‘Blair Witch‘; and ‘Death Note‘) — Screenplay by Eric Pearson & Max Borenstein.

Versus-films are certainly nothing new. Films with titles such as Godzilla vs. Kong will probably always make me think of Paul W.S. Anderson’s Alien vs. Predator and its tagline: “Whoever wins, we lose,” which, in turn, makes me think of both Ronny Yu’s Freddy vs. Jason and Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. None of those films are necessarily highly regarded by the vast majority of film critics, though I enjoy a couple of them, but there is of course one versus-film that trumps them all, Robert Benton’s legal drama Kramer vs. Kramer. That Oscar-winning masterpiece, which is nothing like the aforementioned films, is however, to put it mildly, an exception to the general rule, which is that versus-films are — at least now — mostly known as these show-stopping mash-up popcorn films. That is certainly the case with Adam Wingard’s latest film. It is, as one expected, nowhere near as good as Benton’s film, but it is, however, better than most of the other films that I’ve mentioned in this paragraph. Because Godzilla vs. Kong is a fun popcorn movie, which, with these kinds of blockbusters, is all you can ask for.

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REVIEW: Black Widow (2021)

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, David Harbour as Alexei, and Florence Pugh as Yelena in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW — Photo by Jay Maidment / Marvel Studios.

Directed by Cate Shortland — Screenplay by Eric Pearson — Story by Jac Schaeffer & Ned Benson.

After numerous delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cate Shortland’s Black Widow is finally here. Out now in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the first film in its so-called Phase Four — which also already includes Disney+ series WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki — but it is also the first theatrically released Marvel Studios product in two years (since 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home).

My fellow Marvelites and so-called True Believers can now rejoice as the wait is finally over. However, while I’d say the film is quite good and, at least to some extent, worth the wait, I also have to say that it is clear as day that this film is ‘out of time’ in more ways than one, which makes the film feel quite strange even though it is ‘just’ a long-awaited solo film with a beloved character.

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