Godzilla vs. Kong
Distributors: HBO Max, Prime Video, Sky Store, iTunes, Microsoft Store
Production Companies: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Adam Wingard
Producers: Roy Lee, Dan Lin
Writers: Michael Dougherty, Terry Rossio, Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein, Zach Shields
Main Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall, Kyle Chandler
Released: 31th March 2021
Running Time: 117Minutes
Two of the biggest and baddest kaiju in cinema history match off in a battle of the ages. What more is there to say? The whole draw for this project is in the title. Short and sweet. The marketing department has never had an easier job. Can the film live up to expectations? Well, if you want to see giant monsters stomping through cities unconcerned with our puny human lives while smashing each other in the face, then yes. This movie does exactly what you want, and little more. The shortest film in the Monsterverse so far. We’re in an out in just under two hours. There’s no hanging about, no build-up, no tension, and no waiting around. They know why we’re here and they’re here to deliver.
Set 5 years after Godzilla’s victory over Ghidorah, in 2019’s Godzilla: King of Monsters, in a world that has now become prepared for (eventual) titan attacks. Something triggers Godzilla to attack a private R&D facility, seemingly unprovoked, and the former hero titan becomes a threat to humanity once again. But, on the other side of the world Kong lives in captivity, under constant observation by Monarch, the shadowy research organisation. They’re studying Kong, looking for the origins of the titans. When an opportunity arises to search the earth’s core for the mythic home of the titans, and a mysterious power source, Kong and Godzilla paths are bound to collide.
Although he takes star billing, Godzilla definitely plays second fiddle here to Kong. That’s not to say you won’t get your fill of thrilling giant-nuclear-lizard action. But this is Kong’s story. The film explores the origins of the titans and does so with visual splendour. The expedition to the hollow Earth is a treat for the eyes and Kong leads us through the whole thing. And unlike the monster movies that have come before, most of this film is not various shades of muddy browns and grey cityscapes crashing into one another.
What started as merely a real world-based Kaiju series has now expanded into full-on techno-fantasy. Apex, the private R&D org, has technology that would make Wakanda blush. The science of everything within the film isn’t even attempted to be explained, but I doubt anyone will be complaining. The film definitely takes itself a lot less seriously than the previous 2 Godzilla films, and for the better. The shorter runtime and twice the monster main characters mean you aren’t going to come out disappointed from a lack of CGI goodness.
When Godzilla and Kong finally do collide in Hong Kong it is everything you hoped for and more. While Godzilla had only eight minutes of screen time in the 2014 reboot that started this monsterverse, the climactic clash between the two giants here contains four minutes of uninterrupted action. Before starting up again a couple of minutes later. But it’s not just the time on screen that we get to spend with these goliaths, it’s the content. The action is visceral and exciting. It’s colourful and interesting to watch. Every type of camera angle, every type of shot, every drunken suggestion of “wouldn’t it be cool if…” you could think of is thrown in.
After watching the previous 3 monsterverse films I was expecting this one to be a more of the same. I expected a more serious tone. I expected very little Kong and Godzilla fighting. I expected to come away not completely satisfied. I have been gratefully disappointed. The fight may be between Godzilla and Kong, but my judgement here is that the audience is most obviously the winner.
7.5/10 – Good
Target Audience: Ages 12+
Content: Intense sequences of creature violence/destruction and brief language
For more information about Godzilla vs. Kong, click here.