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George At 

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Godzilla vs. Kong

It would be hard to express how great it was to be back in a sold out theatre with great friends Gregg, Mark & Bruce to kickoff the Spring/Summer movie season! Alamo Drafthouse delivered a great experience as always and a cold draft beer is never a bad cinematic appetizer.

It’s even better when the movie is as much dumb fun as the new GODZILLA VS KONG.

Loaded with spectacular battle scenes, eye popping special effects and enough really stupid dialogue for ten summer blockbusters, it’s summer movie popcorn drenched in butter.

As the film opens, Kong is content if a bit pent up inside a massive domed environment on Kong Island.

All the scientific minds from the previous films in the current series talk about how “there can only be one Titan” and if they let Kong out, Godzilla will sense his presence and somehow become unleashed.

But wait, Godzilla is already pissed off, destroying a massive Florida coast facility of APEX, a company rumored to be launching some new planet-changing technology. If that sounds a lot like the old 1950’s plots about Godzilla attacking nuclear power plants, you’ve been paying attention.

It’s decided that the solution is to have Kong help wealthy industrialist Walter Simmons ( the perfectly dastardly Demian Bichir) and largely ignored college professor Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) validate their theory of a middle Earth that might be the origin of all the movie monster titans.

It’s all goofy pseudo-science lathered on with serious looks and lots of control rooms that make the bridge of the Enterprise look like a Battleship board game.

Mille Bobbie Brown is back as Madison Russell, who manages to penetrate every level of security in a massive industrial complex like she’s strolling into a Target store. Where are the cameras people? Oh, I forgot, leave your common sense at the snack bar…okay I got it.

Brian Tyree Henry (who I loved in the hilarious original cast of “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway) brings laughs as a conspiracy theory podcaster who’s on the right track. Rebecca Hall is back as Kong’s keeper Ilene and newcomer Kaylee Hottle has some very good moments as a little girl with a very special bond with Kong.

Just when you start to get a little bored with the subplots, another massive action scene comes along. A battleship based Kong/Godzilla battle is a thrilling highlight, as is the journey to and arrival to the land of the Titans.

Unlike so many Transformers films, ‘Pacific Rim” and the last Godzilla movie ‘Godzilla King of the Monsters” all of which burned me out with repetitive, interchangeable destruction, the final battle here is spectacular.

Kong, Godzilla and a special guest lay waste to much of Hong Kong in a terrific final 20 minutes that delivers classic summer movie thrills. It’s a tribute to the special effects artists that the closeups of these monsters squaring off are as much fun as the long shots.

If you’re looking for intelligent and meaningful social commentary, you better walk into the next theatre. But if dumb fun and enjoyable adventure are your goal, GODZILLA VS. KONG is a two hour, ten course banquet that will leave you laughing and satisfied.

It gets a very solid B.

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