Godzilla vs. Kong review

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

It’s the monster crossover you’ve been waiting to see, “Godzilla vs. Kong.” What was going to be one of the biggest films to come to theaters is now available in your home thanks to HBO Max. 

 Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

The film starts with Kong who is living in a controlled facility on Skull Island. He is monitored by the staff and visited by a young deaf girl named Jia, who is the only one who can communicate with Kong via sign language. While this is going on, Godzilla is seemingly attacking research facilities all across the world at random. Looking for a way to stop Godzilla, scientist Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) reveals that there is a Hollow Earth where all the Titans come from. He believes that it contains a power source that can help stop Godzilla’s rampage. The catch is that only a Titan can find it, so they decide to use Kong to help them find this lost world. Eventually, Godzilla feels Kong’s presence and repeatedly battles him for dominance. Along the way, battles are fought, cities are destroyed, and fanboys can finally put this age-old argument to rest.

As someone who’s been following this series for quite some time, I will admit I had a blast watching it. Mainly because it gives people exactly what they want. Whenever Godzilla and Kong are onscreen it’s everything you want to see and more. I was pleasantly surprised with how well this aspect was pulled off. With that said, the one complaint that’s been stated here and the previous films is that the human characters are so cookie cutter. It’s clear most people watch these movies for the titans and couldn’t care less about the small ants on the ground. Strangely enough, this film is aware of that and does the bare minimum basics for humans so that we can get to the stuff we want to get to. Outside of the girl Jia and her connection to Kong, not much is done with the people here – which is not to say anyone here is bad. In fact, a lot of the people they brought here are actors I’ve enjoyed in the past. When you see them here, you know they’re giving they’re all in saying these over the top lines. The film is also well-paced enough to where they don’t get in the way of the spectacle.

As I previously mentioned, the action here is spectacular and takes advantage of what these monsters can do. Kong jumps on battleships and skyscrapers to gain an advantage. Godzilla tears his way through cities like they’re nothing. It’s also helpful that this movie doesn’t need to go into detail on why they’re fighting as whenever these titans see each other they fight. You understand that there’s this element of supremacy between the two. While the fights are really good, there are mainly two big fights here. While that may sound like a letdown, it’s not because they get to them in the appropriate amount of time and take advantage of the situations they’re in. It’s also helpful that the film is pretty short, so it doesn’t waste time and we can focus on the titans.

The look of this movie is absolutely wonderful. I also like that there are no cutaways or debris in the way of the camera, in fact, a lot of the locations are so bright and well lit that you can see everything. The camera shots were on point, and when there’s a hit you feel the impact. Even the reason why they’re fighting was a surprise. Without giving anything away, its inclusion was a satisfying way to up the ante while adding more entertainment value to the film.

 Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

What I also like is how this film introduces ideas that expand outside of the main title. While they’re not deep ideas, they’re ones that you would want to see in a kaiju film. For one, the idea of a hollow earth where all these titans come from. I don’t even have to go into detail, because your mind is already thinking of the creative ways they can explore with this. I found this was a creative way to get Kong into conflict with Godzilla. While I will admit this does mostly feel like a Kong movie as he’s the one with the most focus while Godzilla makes a few appearances here and there. The way they’re used feels appropriate to how they were used in the past. People want to see Kong interact with people and discover new lands. They want to see Godzilla as this gigantic force of nature that wreaks havoc. Everything here involving the titan aspect has a purpose and is so entertaining that it’s easy to get invested in.

Another thing that interested me was how even though there were a ton of elements here, it did not feel overblown. It knew what it was and didn’t feel the need to shoehorn a lot of cameos, or plotlines to other sequels like a lot of other franchises are doing. There’s not even a post-credits scene, which in this day and age is very surprising. While I wasn’t expecting a big reveal like Rodan and Anguirus having shawarma together, it was odd to see that they weren’t building up to anything after this. 

I will admit while I’m not the biggest fan, I have seen a lot of the classic “Godzilla” and “King Kong” films. I do appreciate the clever nods they have here with the world they create. I don’t think this movie is going to please everyone, but it’s a film where a giant gorilla battles a giant lizard. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. If this idea catches your interest, check it out and see for yourself.

Rating: 4 / 5 Spinnaker Sails.


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