A monster lockdown hit, Godzilla vs Kong has offered hope to the embattled movie industry. In its first two weeks on release it has taken more than $385m worldwide at the box office and on demand, despite cinemas in many countries being closed. On its opening weekend it did twice as much business as the previous biggest pandemic hit, Wonder Woman 1984. The film is the “clearest indication yet”, says Rebecca Rubin in Variety, that Covid-19 has “forever changed how movies will be distributed”. Releasing a film on a streaming service and in cinemas “would have seemed impossible to pull off prior to the pandemic”.
But the film “needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible”, says Brian Viner in the Daily Mail. The story follows the usual formula of contriving a way for Kong and Godzilla to start flattening skyscrapers. America’s great cities are spared, for once, in favour of a “Hong Kong ding-dong, as if that benighted former colony didn’t have enough on its plate”.
If you seek “giant monsters punching each other”, says Bilge Ebiri in Vulture, you’ll surely enjoy it. “Realistic” isn’t quite the word, but there is “grandeur” to the perfectly rendered CGI of the two beasts duking it out. The question is what the human characters, including Alexander Skarsgard as a geologist and Rebecca Hall as a “Kong whisperer”, are doing amid all this “creative, well-crafted havoc”. Those responsible for other upcoming blockbusters, including the latest Bond movie and Top Gun: Maverick, will be watching the film’s takings as closely as the fights.
Godzilla vs Kong is available on streaming platforms. Watch the trailer here.
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The fourth-series finale of ITV’s cold-case thriller was “neither gimmicky nor action-packed”, says Ed Power in The Daily Telegraph. Where other detectives prefer picturesque Oxford or Midsomer, this story began with a headless body in a freezer in Haringey. Yet Unforgotten was “quietly riveting” all the same. With DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) fighting for her life after a hit-and-run, it was left to her partner, DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar), to unmask the person responsible for a brutal murder in 1990.
The denouement was an “exquisitely crafted punch in the guts”, says Carol Midgley in The Times. Cassie was one of the best TV detectives because she “talked like a real human, sulked like a real human and you could imagine her living next door”. With “no catchphrases, no jargon and no coastal setting”, Unforgotten had a “non-shouty classiness”. Now let it be “showered with awards”.
This was a programme in which “empathy, wisdom, the understanding of human failings, played so much more a part than guns or sectional police feuding”, says Euan Ferguson in The Observer. Unforgotten was far less hyped than its rival, the BBC’s Line of Duty. But its departure may have robbed us of “the best thriller on TV”.
Unforgotten is available on the ITV Hub. Watch the trailer here.