Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

"No, I spent ten years on that island studying him. I know this for sure. Kong bows to no one.""No, I spent ten years on that island studying him. I know this for sure. Kong bows to no one."

“No, I spent ten years on that island studying him. I know this for sure. Kong bows to no one.”

Godzilla vs Kong is the ultimate heavyweight fight between two legendary larger than life monsters. In one corner, the king of the Kaiju’s and in the other the fiercest monkey that bows to no one. It’s a grudge match that has been building up in recent years and now the bracket has finally pitted these two against each other. Buckle in, this is one hell of a ride to witness. The quote unquote monsterverse that has been established hasn’t been seen as favorable given the scope and popularity of these fictional creatures. What has gotten in the way of these awe-inspiring battles is traced back to the human element that’s shoehorned in to give more depth to the films.

Let’s be honest here, no one and I mean no one including me wants to see humans in a film titled Godzilla Vs Kong or even the previous film Godzilla: King of the Monsters. We came for the fight of the century and left with disappointment in not getting that. Why bait and switch? Give the people what they want. Godzilla vs Kong has that same flaw the rest of these films in the monsterverse has – humans that we just don’t care about. Their backstories, their motivations, their development is subpar at best and yet the humans are still the co-focus of a film like this. 

At least in Godzilla vs Kong the human element isn’t as tough a pill to swallow but it still isn’t necessary. A lot of talent is wasted here when everyone and their mother came to see the fight. That is what is driving ticket sales even during the global Covid-19 pandemic. And you’re either team #Godzilla or team #Kong. There is no in between until the third act, at least. And what a third act it is, the buildup to the final battle and it doesn’t disappoint.

“It’s all about patterns and variables. Oh, wait, stick with me. I’m going to take you back to sixth grade with this, okay? Godzilla attacks when provoked. That’s the pattern. Pensacola is the only coastal Apex hub with an advanced robotics lab. That’s the variable. And add them up, and your answer is that Apex is at the heart of the problem.”

Godzilla vs Kong has three major battles between the monsters – one in each act of the film. Stuck in between is the human part involving conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Bryan Tyree Henry) who works as an engineer at Apex Cybernetics. His main goal besides fitting into the crazed theorist personality minus the aluminum foil hat is to expose his former employer with Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) and Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison). That’s only one aspect of a thinly written plot surrounding the humans. On the other side is Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård), a deaf girl named Jia (Kaylee Hottle) and Dr. Illene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) as they aid Kong in finding his home in Hollow earth. And then there’s the human antagonist Waler Simmons (Demián Bichir) who brings Mechagodzilla to life to destroy the remaining monsters.

For a film of Godzilla vs Kong’s massive scale that’s just too much time spent with humans. None are written remotely well enough to form a connection the exception being Jia who has her own connection to Kong. She’s the only human character worth caring about whereas everyone else is instantly forgettable once the punches are thrown.

Where Godzilla: King of the Monsters failed, Godzilla vs Kong succeeded. Changing the color tone alone is a huge improvement in this film. Given that the battles are the most important aspect of this film, seeing Kong and Godzilla fight more clearly enhances each battle. It’s gorgeous watching these two fights each other throughout the film. The previous film’s color palette is way too dark to understand who is beating who – obviously Godzilla won but squinting to distinguish what is happening takes you out of the moment.

“Godzilla saved us. You were there with mom. You saw it. How could you doubt him?”

One of Godzilla vs Kong’s strength is in its scenery. Even if the Hollow Earth scenes are confusing and underdeveloped, the landscapes created are absolutely breathtaking in regard to the visual effects. You almost can’t take your eyes off the screen regardless of the size. Godzilla vs Kong is an experience that needs to be seen in a theater setting. With more and more theaters opening up with limited capacities, watching Godzilla vs Kong on a tv doesn’t do it justice whatsoever. Granted, some may not have a choice, but this is a movie that deserves the biggest screen possible to be witnessed. 

Weakly written human element aside, Godzilla vs Kong delivers in every way that was promised – absolute kaiju carnage. This is a must see on the largest screen possible but can still be enjoyed on whatever screen you can get in front of. The talent of the human cast is wasted with very little to no development and a thinly written overall plot. The fights between the monsters are nothing short of a spectacle and the action is unforgettable. In the end we all win. 3 out of 5. 

So, tell me, have you seen Godzilla vs Kong and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think. 

Godzilla vs Kong is written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, directed by Adam Wingard is Rated PG-13 and has a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. Godzilla vs Kong was released on March 31, 2021 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. Godzilla vs Kong can be streamed on HBO Max for 30 days and seen in theaters. 

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