Now playing in Australian cinemas.
* * *
They must have paid Daniel Day-Lewis an awful lot of money to return to the big screen for Godzilla Vs. Kong, but believe me, it was worth every penny. He brings a seriousness of purpose and a quiet dignity to an otherwise typically loud, typically violent, typically over-the-top monster movie. He chose to go uncredited, but, as it turned out, he has no real reason to be embarrassed.
Day-Lewis plays Charles Stroud, a bio-engineer obsessed with harnessing Godzilla’s powers, and thus throwing his support behind the big lizard for the film’s inevitable climactic show down with King Kong, whose own champion is played by Alexander Skarsgård. Day-Lewis and Skarsgård share multiple scenes together, and, despite the big lizard versus big ape action, their quiet, contemplative discussions on bio-ethics and scientific accountability are the film’s best moments, very well acted, surprisingly well written, and, at times, deeply moving. Expect an Oscar nomination for Day-Lewis next year.
The rest, of course, is big loud action, and as these things go, it’s well done and fun. But it’s the presence of Day-Lewis that makes Godzilla Vs. Kong a surprising must-see of this strange cinema season.