Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by Steve Bennett on April 7, 2021 @ 12:39 pm CT
I recently saw Godzilla Vs. Kong on HBO Max and loved it, but when I told a friend it was "quite possibly the greatest giant monster movie ever made", my praise for the film got an unexpected laugh. It was understandable given that the giant monster movie genre has never been considered exactly “respectable”. Sure, some may be better than others, but even their fans have to confess, whether they attempted to be deadly serious or were openly intended just for kids, they were all pretty goofy.
It is, after all, a genre historically defined by hammy acting, stereotypical caricatures for characters, screwy plot contrivances, tacked-on romances, annoying kids, stock footage, and cheesy special effects. But if you were a fan, you would sit through an hour or more of all that because you knew by the very end of the movie you would get a (usually disappointing) rampaging giant monster. And in those days, that was enough.
And while Legendary's MonsterVerse films (Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla: King of the Monsters) have been a great deal better than that, they’ve also all been literally dark and over-involved with the concerns of their human casts. So, I didn’t have particularly high hopes for Godzilla vs. Kong, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was not only a very good movie, but it’s the very movie I’ve wanted to see since I was 10 years old.
Hollywood has finally figured out how to make a giant monster movie that puts the monsters up front and center with just enough of the human cast to create something that can actually appeal to both my inner child and a massive audience. So far, it’s made $285.4 million worldwide, pulling in $48.5 million domestically over the five-day holiday weekend while simultaneously streaming on HBO Max.
The only problem being Godzilla Vs. Kong is supposed to be the final entry in the MonsterVerse films, which seems kind of foolish. I mean, now that they’ve finally figured out how to do these kinds of movies right, why stop now? The good news is #ContinueTheMonsterverse has started trending on Twitter and hopefully, it will generate enough fan interest to help greenlight a sequel. Preferably ,one that co-stars Jet Jaguar, the giant robot who made his first (and so far only) screen appearance in 1973’s Godzilla Vs. Megalon.
Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy -- Cancel In Context”), I wrote about the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, specifically about how Lola Bunny was redesigned to be less “sexy” and how a scene featuring the problematic Pepe LePew’s was cut from the film. Having seen the original Space Jam, I didn’t have very high hopes for this one either. But since then I’ve seen the trailer, and like a lot of people, I’ve watched it repeatedly, trying to identify as many of the WarnerMedia-owned intellectual properties interacting with each other as I could.
A lot of them were easy to spot: Jabberjaw, Magilla Gorilla, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, Thundercats, Wacky Races, The Iron Giant, etc. I was particularly proud of myself when I found some of my childhood favorites, Gloop and Gleep and Igoo the Rock Ape from The Herculoids, in the crowd watching the basketball game. But somehow I didn’t notice that also watching the game were the Droogs from A Clockwork Orange. I’m not ‘losing my mind’ over this, but seriously, if Pepe LePew isn’t suitable for a kids movie, I don’t think The Droogs should be either.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.