Audiences have grown accustomed to the idea that big budget blockbusters have steadily been getting longer and longer over the years, to the extent that it’s a rarity these days if a spectacle-driven crowd-pleaser clocks in at under two hours, especially in the wake of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
The HBO Max exclusive gives the filmmaker the unique distinction of having directed the three lengthiest comic book adaptations in history, with the Snyder Cut moving ahead of the Watchmen Ultimate Cut and the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition to the very head of the queue. However, the streaming service’s next hybrid release is a much shorter affair, with Godzilla vs. Kong running for a relatively brief 113 minutes.
Naturally, that’s led to some speculation that the studio may have become involved in trimming a bit of the fat, after a poor test screening saw director Adam Wingard and his crew reconvened for extensive reshoots. However, the You’re Next and The Guest helmer dismissed the notion that there’s a longer version of Godzilla vs. Kong out there, saying it was always his intention to keep it under two hours.
“No Snyder Cut for me. This is it. A lot of the fans online were all asking me, ‘Is this going to be a three-hour film?’. When it was announced that it was a little under two hours they immediately thought, ‘When is the director’s cut coming out?’. I like movies under two hours. I think if you do a movie over two hours, you better have a damn good reason for it to be that long. At the end of the day, if you’re going to make this movie into three hours, you’re not going to get an extra hour of monsters fighting. You’re going to get an extra hour of people talking about monsters.”
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Wingard’s right in his decision to keep Godzilla vs. Kong as tight as possible, because there’ve been plenty of modern blockbusters that have ran for at least half an hour too long, and in the grand scheme of things, the additional minutes add nothing to the story. The latest chapter in the MonsterVerse works perfectly fine as it is, too, and an increase in either action or exposition would hurt the flow of the narrative, which moves at a rapid pace in order to get to the climactic showdown without becoming bogged down in needless subplots or gratuitous set pieces.