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GODZILLA vs KONG (12A, 113 minutes)
There’s a “Martha” moment during the climatic battle royal in Godzilla vs Kong (well, it’s actually a ROARRR, but the translation is easy to detect and makes as much sense as the Cavill and Affleck scene) in which I suddenly realised I was watching a cross between a monster version of Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and the classic 1970s Goodies episode which featured a giant kitten terrorising London.
CGI is all well and good, but there needs to be a screenplay written on more than the back of an envelope to make it work and there are so many holes in this flimsy piece of storytelling that you could fly Mothra and Rodan right through it.
The badly dubbed Japanese films of the late 60 and early 70s, on which this is based, achieved a degree of cult popularity purely because they were so awful so updating mediocrity without a tongue placed firmly in the cheek was never going to work.
The monsters, which for all the technology available, look like blokes in foam suits prancing around a miniature Hong Kong, have more dialogue than the paid talent, Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown and Rebecca Hall, who are relegated to support players here; Kong, who for the second half of the film, finds the intelligence to arm himself, Thor-like with an ancient atomic axe, has a meaningful relationship with a deaf mute kid and somehow over the decades, Godzilla has been trained to throw a right hook.
And it’s all done without a trace of irony.
None of which is going to endear this film to anyone looking for more than growling and spittle.