Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, gives us his review on Godzilla VS. King Kong in theaters and the new Mighty Ducks series on Disney+.
GODZILLA VS. KONG (In Theaters, HBO Max)
The new MonsterVerse kicked off with a reboot of Godzilla in 2014 and has since been teasing the epic showdown of these iconic monsters. That battle is finally here with Godzilla vs. Kong. Kong is kept restrained in a large containment center on Skull Island under the care of Rebecca Hall’s Ilene Andrews. He’s being kept safe from Godzilla who was thought to have laid dormant under the ocean. That is until he resurfaces in Pensacola, Florida after three years in hiding. He’s targeting the APEX Cybernetics facilities run Demian Bichir’s greedy power-hungry CEO. Questions arise as to why Godzilla has come back. The only solution is to take Kong down to a power source deep in the Earth’s hollow core and lure Godzilla down there.
The film kicks into high-gear from the very beginning. The writers know they don’t need to fully re-hash everything that’s happened so far. This franchise mirrors the Marvel movies in the sense you could step into this one fresh without having watched the others despite the continuation of the overarching story.
Director Adam Wingard knows his audience is here to watch these two big monsters tear each other apart. You have to come into this willing to have fun and throw logic and science completely out the window. If you’re debating the film’s merits on whether or not Godzilla and Kong actually could fight in the Earth’s core, you’re doing it wrong.
The story itself is rooted in both a “man versus nature” and “Man versus technology” conflict. There are some stock characters with Demian Bichir’s greedy CEO and Alexander Skarsgard playing the scientist with just enough crazy theories to be brought on board. It was fun to see Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown returning to the franchise. Brown tracks down an APEX employee played by Bryan Tyree Henry who wants to expose the company on his podcast. The two of them along with Julian Dennison provide the film it’s humor against the action. There’s also some heart in the film with a young deaf girl who seems to have broken the communication barrier with Kong.
The special effects and battle scenes are the key to the film’s success. If you feel comfortable, see the film on a massive screen with an epic sound system to see these two characters duke it out. The creatures and design of Hollow Earth looks like Jurassic Park on steroids.
The big climax at the end pits our title characters against the backdrop of a neon-lit Hong Kong. You can feel the homage there to the old Godzilla movies of the past.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
THE MIGHTY DUCKS: GAME CHANGERS (Disney+)
Evan loves hockey but is devastated when he doesn’t make the cut to be a part of the legendary Mighty Ducks team. His mom Alex, played by Lauren Graham, makes a scene on the rink calling for an end to the obsession parents have with their kids and sports. Evan’s mom comes up with the clever idea to have him create his own team. They only have a few days to gather enough players, find a rink, a coach, and enter the league. Evan gathers a “rag tag yet hip” team of other kids while Alex finds a scrappy rundown rink for them to use. The owner of the rink just happens to be Gordon Bombay, former coach of the Ducks, who still hates kids and hockey.
The series is still set in Minnesota, but don’t try to spot recognizable locations as they filmed it in Canada.
Emilio Esteves returns to his iconic role as Gordon Bombay. He’s a bit more grizzled than the last time we saw him. It’s pretty apparent Lauren Graham’s character will turn him around to find that inner coach still in him.
The series should be inspiration for all of the misfits and disadvantaged kids out there to find their unique talents and make the most of them.
You can feel the heart and humor in the pilot which shows this isn’t just a lame reboot cashing in on the nostalgic trend the entertainment industry is in.
Look for some of the original Ducks to make a cameo in a future episode.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS