Despite what I make my movie-snob friends believe, I happened to like the first two Godzilla movies, and Kong: Skull Island was my favourite from the Monsterverse. These movies took a cue from the MCU and decided to spend all their time and budget into those cool looking shots of giant monsters doing giant monster things; and, let’s face it, we’re not watching these movies to see what the hell Millie Bobby Brown’s character is up to.
The wait for Godzilla vs Kong’s big fight was unfortunately a long and slow one. But once that giant monkey punched that giant lizard in the face, it was on like Donkey Kong! While monster movies and superhero movies are their own genre, this latest one by Warner Bros. made me think about a possible sub-genre being created. The “high profile bout” genre takes two big names and pits them against each other.
Much like the “IP orgasm” genre that Ready Player One and the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy aim to create, this genre has its roots in subreddits and forums where fanboys have spent hours explaining why X would beat Y. One of the biggest topics when it comes to the high profile bout genre is, of course, Batman vs. Superman. If you care to remember, we did get a movie about that in 2016, and well, it sucked. So here I am, ranting about why the Monsters beat the Superheroes.
An Established Story
When Batman vs. Superman was first announced, the first thought that went through everyone’s mind was, “Why?”. The second thought was that the movie would probably be adapting Frank Miller’s iconic “The Dark Knight Returns” graphic novel, which most superhero fans would have already read. Subsequent trailers confirmed that theory, so everyone already knew who’d win the fight, which took a lot of the suspense and fun out the whole affair
An Unasked Question
I earlier mentioned how Batman vs. Superman is one of the most popular topics on online forums. And if you’re a die-hard fan, chances are that you’ve already read through many of those discussions and are already bored with the topic. A number of mediums had already addressed the question by the time the movie came out, so it was a bit hard to be excited about the broody bat taking on the big blue.
However, I for one recently heard anyone ask, “Who’d win in a fight, Godzilla, or King Kong?” That’s a new and interesting question, especially considering the size upgrade that the Monsterverse gave Kong.
Two Well Known Opponents
Don’t get confused by the subheading, I’m not saying that Batman or Superman aren’t well known. I want to take a moment and stress one of the popular theories behind the DCEU’s slow start. Godzilla got two movies, and Kong got one before the events of Godzilla vs. Kong. Those movies established each monster, giving fans at least something to go on when it came to choosing a side.
On the other hand, the character of Batman wasn’t at all established before the events of Batman vs. Superman; it seemed that the writers just hoped that people would root for him because he was Batman. This is why I can see Henry Cavill as the perfect Superman, but Ben Affleck is still a questionable Batman.
Setting Up A Challenger
This point stems directly from my previous one. Kong was established in Skull Island, and Godzilla was established as the King of Monsters over two movies. The announcement of Godzilla vs. Kong seemed like a high profile boxing match between the reigning champ and the fan-favourite contender; and I’m sure that’s what all the trailers and marketing material aimed at doing as well.
The build up to Batman vs. Superman seemed like it was based on the premise that a rich billionaire had trust issues with someone who wasn’t from the same place where he was from. For instance, Frank Miller took about half of his graphic novel to explain why two of Earth’s mightiest heroes had to go head-to-head; the movie just starts off with Batman hating Superman.
This is perhaps the only point that actually pertains to events occurring within the movies themselves. One of the most annoying things about Batman vs. Superman was that Warner Bros. put out so much material promoting the big fight, which ultimately boiled down to a 20 minute spar which ended when someone said the word “Martha.”
The monster movie, though slow to begin with, gave us multiple rounds of the face-off. Godzilla absolutely wrecked Kong in the water, but Kong’s opposable thumbs and ability to wield weapons gave him an edge on land.
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