Review: Godzilla vs Kong (SPOILERS)
Godzilla vs. Kong is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. It really hasn’t had much competition, but still. The rematch between Godzilla and King Kong has been highly anticipated by both fans and general audiences alike, and it was brought simultaneously to theaters and HBO Max on March 31st, 2021.
The movie’s plot is fairly simple: Godzilla, who previously defeated three world-ending monsters is now on a rampage for unknown reasons. Humanity begins to antagonize Godzilla and sends out Kong to fight him, but they need a power source for their ultimate weapon against all Titans, Mechagodzilla. It eventually leads to an epic showdown in Hong Kong between the enormous ape and the radioactive reptile.
The movie is actually pretty free from many flaws that weigh down big-budget blockbusters these days. Most of the characters have depth, with the main exception being Julian Dennison’s character, Josh Valentine. The human story is fun to watch, especially as they traverse the Hollow Earth with Kong. There is also a separate story involving Godzilla, as a group of characters, including Madison Russell from the last movie, investigate why exactly Godzilla is on a rampage. Overall, the human parts are very well-done and are a blast to watch.
Now, onto the monsters themselves: Godzilla, Kong, Mechagodzilla, and the Hollow Earth denizens. Godzilla is mostly good in this movie, all the scenes of him rampaging were fantastic, especially his first scene where he attacks the APEX base in Pensacola. Kong is an intelligent, tragic beast who simply wants to protect Skull Island and its people and find his family, but cannot do so. Mechagodzilla is actually powered partly by the skull of King Ghidorah from the last movie, and so holds a grudge against Godzilla. He is wonderfully evil and a great villain to root against. And finally, the creatures which dwell in the Hollow Earth, who interact with the humans and each other.
The ecology of the Hollow Earth is sadly not touched upon, but we do get some great shots of the creatures that live there. Unfortunately, there is one major thing that I have not touched on that really weighs down the movie. The fights. There are three main fights in this movie, one at sea between Godzilla and Kong, the epic battle in Hong Kong between Godzilla and Kong, and the final fight between Godzilla, Kong, and Mechagodzilla. The only good fight out of these three is the sea battle. Why? Because it feels like giant monsters fighting. The others are too fast and smooth, they feel more like superheroes than giant monsters. It just doesn’t work.
Overall this is a movie with several major flaws that really weigh it down, a disappointing entry in the fantastic Monsterverse. Hopefully by the next movie these flaws will be fixed, but I am not optimistic about it.
Overall rating: ⅖ stars