The big-CGI world contains a multitude of big ones from Mothra to Ghidorah to Rodan. Who usually comes to fight them back? Oh hey, it is King Kong and Godzilla, but this time, they’re at war! Time for two pop culture titans to collide on a screen ever since their first showing back in 1962!
Director Adam Wingard, who associates himself typically with the horror and action genres, decides to go all out in a fun, visual spectacle in the MonsterVerse’s fourth film, Godzilla vs. Kong. The sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island manages to mostly not disappoint (and proved my thoughts wrong when I believed this would fall into the same territory Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice did).
The plot follows Kong, who is currently taking residence in a giant dome under Monarch. Meanwhile, Godzilla is running rampant and going after an unknown energy source courtesy of some technological, futuristic corporation (so that means they are assuredly doing nefarious things then.) Scientist Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) wishes to use Kong to find some unknown, potent energy in Hollow Earth. Kong assists in searching for it, but constantly runs into the raging Godzilla, leading to these two blowing up the screen any chance they get. And like in any movie with two iconic characters fighting, an enemy of sorts is revealed. This time by the corporation’s deadly intentions of utilizing a robot version of one of our titular titans (it is, of course, bigger, badder, and stronger).
The pandemic could not stop these two from fighting, as they leave a path of beautiful mayhem like in Michael Bay’s works. Wingard gave every chance for them to fight (three rounds and a bonus one), and they managed to exceed expectations. The production team took the time to make it visually stunning and flavorful, and the film keeps all the story and action compact. Fans will beg for more kaiju action even when the credits roll, meaning the MonsterVerse still has legs to walk on for the unseeable future.
As impressive as the action is, the story between our human characters cannot carry the same weight. Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) and Mark (Kyle Chandler) Russell reprise their roles from Godzilla’s sequel in 2019. They become joined by Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry), Ilene (Rebecca Hall), and Jia (Kaylee Hottie). The screenwriters’ laborious attempts to keep them entertaining fall short, with the only beautiful moments coming from the deaf orphaned Jia interacting with Kong amidst all the craziness. Some of the story details do work but cannot entirely in the grand scheme due to wacky expository attempts in this franchise’s first three works. It is something they will have to work on in the future if the switch between monster fighting and humans’ interactions becomes reoccurring.
All in all, a satisfying film that does not overstay its welcome and gives fans all the action they could dream of witnessing. Perhaps it is best to see it in theaters this time since the oversized screens can provide the whole picture and stay rattled by the sound systems in this escapist spectacle of a movie. In arguably their best film so far, King Kong and Godzilla are the screen warriors now, roaring on in the art and wonders of mayhem.