Godzilla vs. Kong ***
Sci-fi action. With Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown and Rebecca Hall. Director: Adam Wingard. 10-12PG V.
Physics and logic are thrown out the window as two of cinema’s most iconic monsters clash in this sequel to Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019).
It’s the fourth film in Warner Bros.’ MonsterVerse, an attempt by the film studio to create its own cinematic universe in the vein of Marvel’s crossover series of movies and TV shows.
Setting up the epic smackdown between the gargantuan gorilla and large lizard takes some convoluted plot gymnastics, but come on, we don’t watch these movies for the story – we’re here to see behemoths brawling, and this is where the film excels.
It has the same intensity as the superb Pacific Rim (2013) and when these two giants start their epic battle there’s little that can stand in their way. Unfortunately, before we get to the action, the audience must suffer through various side stories with characters that have little impact on the main event.
A Nancy Drew-style subplot involving Brown (Stranger Things) and friends seems to have been added simply to make her star power a drawcard.
Kong steals the show, and with the introduction of the Hollow Earth – the original home of these massive monsters located deep beneath the planet’s surface – there seem to be plans for further adventures with the great ape.
With its thrilling action sequences and spectacle, Godzilla vs. Kong is entertaining enough – just leave your brain on autopilot. – DEWALD POTGIETER
AVAILABLE ON DSTV BOX OFFICE, GOOGLE PLAY, VODACOM VIDEO PLAY AND APPLE TV+.
The Sleepover ***
Action comedy. The Finches from Cape Cod in Massachusetts, USA, look like any ordinary family. But Margot (Billions’ Malin Åkerman), a mom of two and supervisor at the school cafeteria, has a secret past.
She’s an elite thief and has been in witness protection for years, something her husband, pastry chef Ron (Ken Marino), their daughter, Clancy (Sadie Stanley), and son Kevin (Maxwell Simkins), don’t know.
Her house of cards collapses when Margot and Ron are kidnapped by her former employers and she’s forced to take part in one last job with her ex-fiancé, Leo (Joe Manganiello from True Blood).
The kids then embark on an adventure of their own to save their parents with the help of Clancy’s bestie, Mim (Cree Cicchino), and Kevin’s neurotic pal, Lewis (Lucas Jaye).
This family friendly romp recalls the Spy Kids movies, only with fewer high-tech gadgets. The characters are the only engaging aspect – Ron and Kevin are hilarious while Clancy, who has a fear of heights, is endearing.
Younger viewers are obviously the target audience and The Sleepover should keep them entertained. – LARA ATSON
2020. 103 MIN. PG V. AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX.
The Turning *
Horror. What exactly is the evil that permeates the eerie manor house with its maze to nowhere?
Doe-eyed governess Kate Mandell (Mackenzie Davis from Terminator: Dark Fate) is out of her depth from the moment she arrives to care for siblings Miles (Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard) and Flora Fairchild (Brooklynn Prince) after their parents’ deaths.
This is yet another modern take on author Henry James’ enthralling 1898 ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Many critics have tried to determine the exact nature of the evil hinted at in the story, but after watching this, you’ll realise the evil in the film is the director herself.
Floria Sigismondi is known for her music videos for the weird and wonderful likes of Björk and this movie would work well as the background imagery and soundtrack for a house party.
The ending is ridiculous and will have you scratching your head. A waste of possibilities.
– PIETER VAN ZYL
2020. 90 MIN. 16LVH. AVAILABLE ON SHOWMAX.
A: All ages D: Drugs H: Horror L: Language N: Nudity P: Prejudice PG: Parental guidance
S: Sex V: Violence