After years of build-up and a shared universe, we now finally get to see the western adaptation of Godzilla from the 2014 movie and its 2019 sequel clash with the latest version of King Kong from 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. Does Godzilla vs. Kong bring the exactly needed epicness for a movie centered around an atomic lizard and a giant gorilla fighting or has the almost 7 years of build-up built to a lackluster result?
Tech company Apex Corporation embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain and unearths clues to the Titans’ origins. CEO Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) enlists the help of geologist Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) and Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), who has been researching the behaviour of Kong (himself). With the help of the connection between Kong and Andrews’ adopted death daughter, Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the ruler of Skull Island sets out to help uncover the origins. Meanwhile, an agitated Godzilla (himself) is destroying areas that lead towards Apex and the pathway of Kong. This brings the attention of Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), and technician Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry), who set off to uncover a conspiracy that threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the Earth forever.
To paraphrase the Godzilla 2 review from a simpler and naive time of 2019, it’s tough t0 objectively criticise a movie involving a showdown between two giant monsters as its job is to bring a level of entertaining chaos. And Godzilla vs. Kong does bring some very fun fights between the two iconic characters. It’s clear that director Adam Wingard had a blast showcasing the fighting techniques of a primate and a dinosaur with an equal leveling field between the two. Then again, there was something hilariously awesome about seeing Kong punch Godzilla in the face. But the movie isn’t just an endless fight match as there some explorations of Kong and the Titan’s origins, which some die-hard fans of this universe or the original Toho movies may find enjoyable.
But very similar to every entry in this Monster universe, the movie pans away from the giant spectacle fights to focus on a great cast that plays stock characters who, once again, share expository dialogue while also making some eye-rolling attempts at jokes. But in a much more hollowed-out way as the plot feels like there are 30-45 minutes that’s been chopped out of the final movie. Clocking in at under 2 hours, the movie flashes by like a Saturday morning cartoon with very little at stake. Not that you should expect a complex story from a movie of this type.
Overall, Godzilla vs. Kong is an entertaining ride that brings what you’d hope from a movie of this caliber with some fun fight sequences. But the problems of the movies leading up to this crossover still remain the same as the all-star cast are brought together to rush a silly and shallow plot. If you’re a very simple fun time, I can recommend the movie.
Warning: there’s a sequence with flashing lights.
Godzilla vs. Kong is in cinemas now.