Godzilla vs Kong Review
Godzilla vs. Kong is a jaw-dropping spectacle about these two legendry monsters tossing each other through buildings and bonking each other with giant axes and atomic blasts. How can you not love that? It’s big, silly, and action-packed fun brought to life with some of the best CGI works in the business. Although the human aspects and set-up once again disappoint, it doesn’t affect the overall spectacle that this film is. If you were itching to head into the cinema for a blockbuster epic, then your search should be over now.
The movie isn’t lead by human character but rather by Godzilla and Kong. That’s what we wanted right? Absolutely yes! Though, we still expect a decent human character buildup and battle set-up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver entirely in that regard. It does have better than great action sequences, but so did King of the Monsters. Action can never be a substitute for a great story. Thankfully, the story, even with its flaws, is so much better than King of the Monsters. In fact, it’s only behind Godzilla (2014) in the Monster Verse. A great thing about this is we get a winner and it’s realistic. We knew from before that Kong is no match for Godzilla and that’s what happens. Kong puts up a good fight but it’s Godzilla who wins.
Godzilla vs Kong is directed to near popcorn perfection by Adam Wingard who delivers a terrific action-packed sci-fi flick. Thankfully, he doesn’t go for the overkill in pitting Godzilla against King Kong, dedicating two major sequences to their bouts. They are alone worth the price of admission.
Godzilla and Kong really go at each other, fighting out a Titan-sized bar fight in the middle of the ocean and in the middle of Hong Kong. It’s completely ridiculous but that’s what makes it effective.
No matter which titan you wanted to win, you would likely feel justified with the outcome. This film is exactly what its trailers and promotional marketing promised; a massive thrilling, dumb yet epic movie that no monster franchise fans should miss. It is one of the biggest popcorn blockbuster film’s you will ever get to see.
This film has the same problem as every other film in this franchise. It can’t truly explain the backstory. Neither can it merge the human arcs together with the titans to make it interesting. Godzilla (2014) managed this well but after that, it’s all been disastrous. Skull Island was decent overall but suffered the same problems. When we go to the hollow earth, we again do not get a proper explanation. It’s once again: see what you want, get what you want, and leave. There is no proper build-up. Maybe we’ve felt different if they hadn’t given away the story in the trailers. Even with the human motivations, you don’t really get any realistic arc apart from the little girl and Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir). Everyone else’s character motivations feel softer than paper.
You can feel the connection between the little girl and Kong but that same connection is missing from everyone else. Alexander Skarsgard’s character is wasted and absolutely dumb to no see the villain’s (Eiza Gonzalez’s) plans when she even acts like a bitch from the start. The same can be said for Rebecca Hall’s character although, she does a decent job, especially while sharing screen time with the little girl. Millie Bobby Brown’s character is useless this time.
Another thing to point out is the other monsters that we don’t get to see. At the end of King of the Monsters, we see all other monsters bowing to Godzilla but why don’t we see them assist him? And where were the government’s reaction to the mayhem in Hong Kong? Every movie in this franchise leaves cities destroyed and possibly millions killed but we never get to see that side of the story. None of the characters actually belong to the survivor’s group. It’s just useless scientists who can’t recognize a villain even if they’re smiling in front of them.
Action is great but sometimes it needs to be grounded or else the interest dies out. The same battle could’ve easily taken place on an island. What Apex did with Mechagodzilla is the type of stuff the governments would’ve been doing in such scenarios. Yes, the Mechagodzilla plans went south but the motivations were realistic.
It’s not a surprise to know that the monsters look more interesting than the humans. Although I am Team Godzilla, I have to say that Kong is probably the more relatable in this film. He is not portrayed as that dumb giant monkey who wreaks havoc for no reason but rather a more understanding and calm creature. He even uses sign language! We can feel the sense of being alone with him. When the humans told him to go to the hollow earth because there might be others like him there, I wished for it to be true even though I knew that’s not likely. Unlike Godzilla, who fights to be King, Kong does not fight to be King, but rather not bow to one.
Godzilla is killing humans. We know that something is provoking him. We don’t know what, that is why we have to see him as a villain. But even his motivations are realistic. We find out that Apex Cybernetics is developing Mechagodzilla from the DNA of King Ghidorah. That is why Godzilla is behaving in this manner, thinking of it as a whole human plan. Even after he beats Kong, he leaves Kong alive. Of course, Kong’s heartbeat is slowing down but we don’t expect Godzilla to realize that. We have to assume this is a show of mercy and that Godzilla realizes that Kong is also the last of his kind. As I said, the monster arcs in this film are too good.
MECHAGODZILLA & KING GHIDORAH
That takes us to Mechagodzilla who is a product of Apex Cybernetics in order to counter the titan problems. It is made from the DNA extracted from the head of King Ghidorah. Although, Ghidorah takes control of Mechagodzilla and attacks Godzilla. Does that remind you of something? Yes, that’s a page directly out of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Remember when humans made Galvatron using DNA from Megatron’s head but Megatron took control of Galvatron? Yup! Though the Japanese Godzilla films have tried something like this before, this was exactly from Age of Extinction. But that’s not what troubles me. It’s just how quickly Ghidorah, an ancient alien, adapts to an advanced robot. He even knows how to use missiles! Although, he was a good adversary. At least, for Godzilla, as he beats the shit out of him. That’s twice now. He could’ve killed Godzilla in King of the Monsters if it wasn’t for human intervention. Again this time, Godzilla needs help to beat him. Obviously, Kong’s help. It becomes easy after Kong joins the fight but we wanted more from Mechagodzilla.
It is able to hold two stories at the same time with ease. The action is phenomenal, each powerful punch releasing a shockwave of ear-shattering sound, each majestic and shaking roar from the creature’s stab fear into the viewer’s heart. For the second week in a row we felt the metal screams of Junkie XL through our ears. Even though his Zack Snyder’s Justice League soundtrack was average, he nails it this time. The score hits every beat of the film and doesn’t ruin a single action scene. Each magnificent design of these horrifying and fascinating creatures only gets bigger and better. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come with CGI. No longer filmmakers have to film major battle sequences during the night as now technology has allowed them to be bold enough to showcase it during daytime. The Cinematography is even more outstanding.
The film definitely forces you to pick a side but it also wants you to look at each monster’s viewpoint on the situation at hand in the film. I’ve been a Godzilla fan for a long time and I love where WB and Legendary are taking these films to. Even though the script is weak and predictable added with paper-thin human characters, this film offers a whole new level of lore, epic battles, and the emotional bond you can have with these giant creatures.
K- Score: 73%
STW: 17/30, D: 20/25, C: 8/8, E: 3/5, PVD: 12/12, A: 5/10, S: 8/10