If there was one movie I was really looking forward to seeing on the big screen this year, it would be Godzilla Vs. Kong. I didn’t watch Kong: Skull Island but I was and forever will be a big kaiju fan and I will always be hyped for a new film featuring Godzilla. Unfortunately, movie theaters in my country still aren’t open because we can’t get nice things. So, somewhat reluctantly, I did watch Godzilla Vs. Kong at home. And I will say that this was probably the most fun I’ve had watching a kaiju movie in a long time!
Before we get into the review itself, I will preface it by saying this will be a SPOILER FREE review. Yes, I do understand it seems kind of stupid to hide specific plot points on what is basically a glorified monster fight. But I do think there are some significant story beats and surprises that warrant Godzilla Vs. Kong to get a SPOILER FREE review.
Anyway, Godzilla Vs. Kong is the fourth film in the “MonsterVerse” and takes place around three years after the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and decades after Kong: Skull Island. Godzilla attacks a coastal research facility for no apparent reason. This act of aggression makes it seem as if Godzilla is now an enemy and not a defender of the planet like in the previous films. This causes the CEO of APEX, the company that Godzilla attacked, hire a disgraced geologist named Dr. Nathan Lind to lead an expedition into Hollow Earth to find a power source strong enough to kill The King of Monster. However, in order to do that, they will need to get Kong to guide them to it. Meanwhile, Madison Russell helps a conspiracy theorist investigate APEX as they both believe they somehow provoke Godzilla to destroy the facility.
Whew! That seems like a lot of plot, right? A little too much for what’s supposed to be a simple kaiju vs. kaiju movie? Well, honestly, the plot seems rather incidental. They basically feel like loose story threads that somehow sort of form a very loose continuity. In fact, some side stories, like the one involving Madison Russell come off as unnecessary and come off like it’s there so Warner Bros. can do the entire MonsterVerse thing because they want you to think all of the films are connected. In reality, you can cut them out and no one would be the wiser.
That doesn’t mean the human characters are garbage, though. While I didn’t care for any of them (I’m here for the kaiju, remember?), no one acted like utter imbeciles. Rather, they did seem like caricatures of people. You have the talkative conspiracy theorist, the hotheaded teenager with a cause and the teenager’s comedic relief sidekick in one story. You also get the discredited scientist out to redeem himself, the scientist who cares for the lovable creature who’s being treated more like an object and, of course, the mute daughter who has a strong bond with the said adorable creature. Oh, and don’t forget the corporation who have nefarious plans for the lovable creature! You can’t forget them!
If if seem all too familiar, that’s because we’ve seen these characters in other movies before. However, just because they’re more than familiar, all of the characters in Godzilla Vs. Kong do feel a little more substantial than just throw away people. Everyone is doing a decent job with their performances but nothing you’d call outstanding. Except for one character. The only real standout performance is, surprising enough, the little girl who bonded with Kong. As she’s supposed to be mute, most of her performance is told through sign language and, most importantly, facial expressions. The little girl gave the most believable performances in the movie, beating out veterans like Alexander Skarsgard, Kyle Chandler, Rebecca Hall and Millie Bobby Brown. I’m not recommending the kid to be nominated for an Oscar or anything like that. I just like to recognize her performance here.
However, like everyone who wanted to see Godzilla Vs. Kong, we wouldn’t have cared for the human characters anyway. What we came to see was The King of Monsters take on King Kong! And, well, the movie delivered on that aspect and more! The fights were actually super fun and worth the price of admission. The CGI used to generate both Godzilla and Kong were phenomenal and did give them the right amount of size to make them look like gigantic monsters duking it out. Some of the physics don’t really work, I will admit. I’m very doubtful an aircraft carrier can keep afloat with both Godzilla and Kong on top of it! Still, I turned off the logical side of my brain because of how cool everything looked!
We didn’t just see them fight once or twice! We got to see them battle a total of three times! What’s even more amazing is that we actually got a clear winner with each battle! No draws but an actual victor! You could say one or the other had the advantage, whether it be because of the location or whatever extras they had with them when they went to do combat. It doesn’t matter! One kaiju actually defeated the other!
I do have an issue with how they closed out the film but I do understand why they did it. It’s a really big plot point so I can’t go into detail as this is a SPOILER FREE review. But I can say I do wish they saved it for a future installment of the Godzilla franchise as it’s too big of a thing to simply stick in the end so we can have a nice, happy ending for both Godzilla and Kong. I guess it still could be but it ruins the surprise if it will be part of the next film in the MonsterVerse.
Even though I had some problems with it, specifically the human characters being generally forgettable and the plot being too complicated but ultimately unnecessary, the monster fights makes Godzilla Vs. Kong worth the price of admission. I will say it’s my favorite film of all the MonsterVerse movies I’ve seen so far just because it delivered on what it promised: we got Godzilla fighting Kong. And the fights were awesome so it delivered in spades! It’s a dumb popcorn movie, for sure. But what’s wrong with that?
Have you seen Godzilla Vs. Kong? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!