Godzilla vs. Kong Review
PLOT: GODZILLA VS. KONG! The battle is on in yet another addition to the Warner Brothers’ Monsterverse. After Godzilla begins to attack civilization, it may be up to King Kong to stop the magnificent beast in this exciting, and massive, creature feature.
REVIEW: It takes very little time for the battle to begin in Godzilla vs. Kong. As the main human characters scatter across the globe, it is the spectacle of these two legendary Titans that keep things interesting. Yes, the mighty beasts are back, and filmmaker Adam Wingard has managed to capture the fun and spectacle of it all in this wildly entertaining adventure. After having the two popular characters returning to command the big screen over the past few years, it’s a difficult task to make a film that is fully accessible to both fans, and those just looking for an escape at the movies. The new feature manages – mostly – to do both. The cast includes the return of Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler, but they also welcome Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Eiza González, and Demián Bichir. Let’s keep this spoiler-free shall we?
Something is wrong with Godzilla. The gargantuan beast has been triggered by something unknown and is now attacking cities and civilians. This creates problems for humanity as this once heroic Titan is now going after those he would normally protect. What can stop a Titan from destroying entire cities and endangering lives? Well, that would be another Titan. With that, King Kong is called to help stop the impending disaster, all the while the giant ape and those making sure he’s safe are looking for a proper home for Kong. Soon, the two legends face-off against each other, only to question who is the real villain and what are their devious plans?
You might have noticed I’m being especially vague about the storyline – although if you are looking for spoilers they’re easy to find. But frankly, there’s a good reason for being careful as to what is revealed. Walking into this sci-fi/action/fantasy, you are pretty much aware of what you hope to see. The question of who will be victorious is certainly one that most will have going in. With that said, there are a couple of surprises as to why Godzilla is reacting the way he did after saving the world and becoming the “King of the Monsters.” Yet the way it all plays out is slightly predictable, and the mere mention of certain aspects of this script by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein may accidentally spoil the final events that take place. It won’t take most viewers much to figure out the direction of where things are heading. Even still, this aspect of the film is simply mild criticism. It’s all about the journey, and it’s a journey well worth investing in.
As simple as this premise may be, Godzilla vs. Kong is the best of the current iteration of the two big-screen monsters. While it has a slightly similar energy to Kong: Skull Island, the new flick gives fans exactly what they want. Wingard brings the many action sequences to life in pulse-pounding ways. Whether it’s a cargo ship at sea, or the neon-drenched streets of Tokyo, or a brand new location that I’d rather not divulge here – a bit of a spoiler – Wingard effortlessly creates magic with the help of impressive visual effects, stunning creature design, and exceptional use of color representing each Titan. There’s very little that is disappointing about the stage being set for the fantastic battles on display. As well, at just under a two-hour runtime, the film never overstays its welcome. It’s a fast-paced monster movie, one that brings these two to life.
Much like the previous Kong and Godzilla cinematic ventures, the human characters aren’t terribly compelling. The standouts include the young Kaylee Hottle as a deaf girl who develops a strong bond with the gigantic gorilla and Rebecca Hall who brings a little heart as a woman trying desperately to keep Kong safe. As well-intentioned as they are, the main characters only exist to prop up the real stars of the film. And for that, they manage to do a better job than in the previous films. While you won’t be stepping out of the theatre praising the great performances on display, it won’t matter because they do little to take away from the true highlights. And yes, Wingard and company do not skimp on that at all.
Aside from the impressive creature design and the vibrant use of color and thrilling effects, there is something else that stands out. The score by Junkie XL is fantastic. This is a monster flick that relishes the visuals and the sound design, so his unique audio creation will certainly please those that appreciated his amazing score for Mad Max: Fury Road. Much like what the Dutch composer Thomas Holkenborg did for the rousing George Miller thrill ride, the same can be said of his work here.
Godzilla Vs. Kong is a visual feast. The title perfectly represents what you’re in for. Fueled by intensely humongous creatures creatively duking it out, it’s worthwhile if you can see it in theatres or a drive-in situation, but should still satisfy those enjoying it in the comfort of your own home on HBOMax. Either way, Adam Wingard’s take on the two legends brings fans a satisfying conclusion that places focus on exactly what audiences want to see. The human element is slightly better, yet still not nearly as interesting as the thrills and chills of watching the stunning effects that bring it all home. Ultimately, this is a battle that you’re likely not going to want to miss.