The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another - the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong - with humanity c... Read allThe epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another - the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong - with humanity caught in the balance.The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another - the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong - with humanity caught in the balance.
Sometime after the events of "Godzilla: King of the Monsters", the giant ape Kong is being kept under surveillance inside a large simulated habitat, forming a bond with a deaf girl who communicates with him through sign language. One day, Godzilla attacks a city in Florida for seemingly no reason and this sparks an international debate over whether or not these huge monsters are a threat to humanity's future. A team of experts soon deduce that Godzilla was actually tracking Kong's energy signal and decide to transport him somewhere secret in an effort to prevent the two of them from fighting each other and causing even more collateral damage.
When it comes to giant monster movies, you can't go too wrong with the ones featuring the undisputed king of the monsters himself - Godzilla. Since 1954, this giant reptilian has been stomping his way through cities battling various monsters of similar size with his brute strength and trademark atomic breath. Every time I hear Godzilla's signature roar, it gives me chills like the first time hearing a lightsaber turning on in "Star Wars" or the DeLorean from "Back to the Future" reaching 88 miles per hour. Likewise, the enormous gorilla Kong has also had his fair share of time in the spotlight, debuting all the way back in 1933 in the classic film "King Kong". With this in mind, it seems fitting that these two iconic titans of east and west should face off against each other at some point, having previously done so in 1962's "King Kong vs. Godzilla". Now in 2021, we have a brand new reimagining of such a rivalry, complete with better special effects and destruction galore. There's something so mindlessly satisfying in seeing giant monsters beating the hell out of each other while leaving heavy destruction in their wake. I guess it's all just part of the entertainment value we can take away knowing it's all in good fun and that we can be thankful such colossal creatures don't exist in real life. However, if you are expecting to be treated to anything else beyond this, you will be greatly disappointed. Regardless, if fighting monsters and gratuitous demolition of skyscrapers is what you crave, then this movie certainly delivers.
In addition to this, the film also touches on the mythology of these strange beasts (known as "Kaiju" in Japanese), with particular focus placed on Kong and his origins. I'm no expert on Kaiju lore or anything like that but I did enjoy that we got to see how these towering figures aren't evil beings with a lust for destroying everything, but rather neutral parties trying to establish their place at the top of the monster food chain. Of course, the level of neutrality varies for each of the two, with Kong perhaps being "True Neutral" and Godzilla being "Chaotic Neutral". For example, Kong is seen attempting to live peacefully on Skull Island under the pretense that he is in charge and nothing else can take that away from him. Later on, when Godzilla arrives to challenge this notion, an all out brawl ensues, much like how predator animals like big cats would fight one another to establish dominance. We are informed it has been like this for thousands of years and that human civilisation has only popped up recently, just being on the brink of learning how to co-exist among all this ongoing conflict.
There's not much to say about the film's human characters, as they are only there to help move the small remnants of the plot along. Most of them were either generic military personnel marked for death or scientific minds trying to make sense of all this madness. I suppose Millie Bobby Brown was the only actor in the film with some dimension to her, as anyone who saw 2019's "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" will recall her character and her importance in that story. I did also like the film's scenes with the deaf girl talking to Kong via sign language, as this reminded me of the famous gorilla Koko who was taught how to communicate with her trainers through similar means. In spite of all this, by the end of the movie, I couldn't recall a single name of anybody other than the titular monsters, remembering them by the actor's real names instead of their characters. At the same time though, it didn't really matter because at the end of the day we don't pay to see a giant monster movie for the human characters for the same reason we don't go to McDonald's to order a filet mignon. Godzilla and Kong's names are in the film's title and it should be obvious by now that they are the real stars here, not the humans.
As far as giant monster movies go, "Godzilla vs. Kong" does a serviceable job at entertaining us with frequent action and great special effects. It's mind numbingly simplistic but I wouldn't expect anything less. At this stage, it is unknown if there will be any more films in this "MonsterVerse" but I do see potential in the franchise continuing for as long as the demand is there. Since there are still plenty of threatening monsters out there to be dealt with, I remain hopeful.
I rate it 6.5/10
- Mar 25, 2021