Do you feel that? There’s a sound in the air we haven’t heard in a good long while; a little over a year to be specific. Yes, the stomping and roaring of Titans is returning to movie theaters with Godzilla vs. Kong’s theatrical release. But do you know what else has returned? The rustle of plastic wrappers being removed from 3D glasses! Readers, To 3D or Not To 3D has officially returned. Since it’s been so long, it’s more important than ever to rundown the rules and regulations of what we do around here.
To 3D or Not To 3D is not our official review of Godzilla vs. Kong; but rather it’s an evaluation of how good the 3D presentation of director Adam Wingard’s MonsterVerse epic happens to be. If you want to read our review of how the film works, you can head over to Eric Eisenberg’s writeup right now! But if you’re ready to slip on your glasses and drop into the world of clashing Titans, let’s see if Godzilla vs Kong’s 3D is worth the extra ticket money!
Does a MonsterVerse movie like Godzilla vs. Kong belong in 3D? Readers, that’s like asking if Tom Holkenborg’s musical scores deserve to be blasted out of high-powered theater speakers. There’s some serious Titan action in this flick, and that obviously deserves the third dimensional enhancements that a proper 3D movie brings to the table. However, even the up close and personal moments seem enhanced by this premium approach.
There is one notable issue with the Godzilla vs. Kong’s 3D presentation. I know it’s been a while, but I think you can guess what it is. However, not even that hiccup can dull the shine of what is a well-planned and executed premium ticket experience. You can see it in how director Adam Wingard and his crew execute their visuals, with dizzying Titan action and all of the fun camera angles that come along for the ride looking crisp and clear. Plus, that Wingard Color Magic is strong in this movie, making this a far cry from Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ more subdued color palette.
At one point in Godzilla vs. Kong, Adam Wingard literally drops a car on his audience. By time that happens during the climactic Hong Kong showdown, there’s already been quite a few moments that could cause the audience to flinch, and it’s a beautiful example of Before The Window sorcery coming to life. While the fight sequences in Godzilla vs. Kong show this piece of the puzzle off to their fullest potential, there’s still some less-battle-heavy moments, like Kong exploring the Hollow Earth kingdom, that give us objects flying towards our field of vision. Prepare for atomic blasts to the face, Kong reaching right for the audience, and Godzilla staring you down multiple times.
If Before The Window is the Godzilla of To 3D or Not To 3D, then Beyond The Window has to be the Kong of the kingdom. With depth of picture being more of a focus in this segment, there is no shortage in what Godzilla vs. Kong has to offer in this portion of the program. Godzilla’s big raid on Apex Cybernetics in the beginning of the film acts as the film’s first showcase of how deep this picture goes, as you can look through the holes being blasted in the facility, and see the lizard god looming in the distance. But even closeups of human cast members like Alexander Skarsgard and Rebecca Hall surveying the drama from the deck of a battleship convey the distinct depth of something as simple as people standing around each other.
Yes my friends: if you were guessing Godzilla vs. Kong’s notable problem was the brightness, you win... something. Now this isn’t a factor that can totally be blamed on the filmmakers, as theaters don’t always maintain their projectors properly. Calibration between switching from 2D to 3D showings is crucial, and can add darkness to the picture. Which, by the way, is already being dimmed by the glasses you put onto your face to watch the movie. The good news though is that this deficiency seems to be limited to some of the darker segments, where the lighting is dim in any particular setting. So don’t worry about the fight scenes being unintelligible because the lighting choices ensure those sequences are nice and clear.
Good blur usually means good 3D, as the degree of manipulation used on the image can indicate a fair amount of work being done to break into the third dimension. Godzilla vs. Kong knows exactly what it’s doing with the blur, as you’ll be able to see when you slip your glasses above your eyes during the movie. When Kong knocks together some floating magnetic rocks in one scene, the contrast between the rest of the picture and those two rocks shows off the varied degrees of blur to great effect. It’s kind of unsurprising, as the beyond/before window factors are so strong throughout Godzilla vs. Kong, but this is still something that could very easily be overlooked in subpar 3D presentations.
There are several points where Godzilla vs. Kong could have turned into a dizzy, visually confusing product of 3D mayhem. But again, the movie is framed and cut in such a way that 3D is truly allowed to flourish. After screening the film previously in 2D, I was afraid the moment where an experimental aircraft launches from the center of the earth and into the Hong Kong battle was going to be something very jarring on the eyes. Instead, it’s one of the best parts of the movie, with the only real audience health factor to consider being the darkness issues in some scenes. Besides potential eye strain, Godzilla vs. Kong holds up as a strong 3D delight that won’t rock your stomach to its core.
|3D Scores Recap|
|3D Fit Score||5|
|Planning & Effort Score||5|
|Before the Window Score||5|
|Beyond the Window Score||5|
|Glasses Off Score||5|
|Audience Health Score||4|
Godzilla vs. Kong is the best 3D movie in the MonsterVerse since 2014’s Godzilla kicked things off in true third-dimensional fashion. It’s definitely a step up from Godzilla: King of the Monster’s usage of the medium, and it’s even an improvement over the absolutely solid work done with Kong: Skull Island’s 3D presentation. If you’ve missed the joys of 3D films, on top of just going to the movies in general, then Godzilla vs. Kong is the titanic welcome back you’ve been waiting for. Should you feel safe enough to head out to the movies, do not hesitate to spring for the premium experience.
Check out our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive!