Godzilla vs. Kong

#Review: Godzilla vs Kong

It’s been seven years in the making since the arrival of Godzilla in 2014, the titanic clash of Godzilla and Kong. After many pretenders to the throne will Godzilla be dethroned by the hot challenger in the shape of Skull Island native Kong? These are some of the questions that I had when I was watching Godzilla vs Kong, unfortunately, there were other major issues I wanted answers to.

A new challenger approaches

In Godzilla vs. Kong, the story is a relatively complex tale about humanity trying to take back the world from the Titans, in particular Godzilla, by utilising a power source that can be found at the centre of the Earth. The caveat is they need a Titan to help them navigate this mysterious realm, enter Kong. A bunch of humans abscond him from Skull Island as their helper monkey. To stop him from rampaging they utilise the aid of a young girl with who he has a connection.

Godzilla is having none of this and so decides that he needs to stop this. Thus chaotic brawls between the iconic pair happen across the globe and we humans are caught in the middle of it all.

We deserve this

Watching this film all I kept thinking was we deserve this. Humanity has brought this all upon itself. Though the film sets up a supposedly intricate story it is a thin veil that is just about setting up awesome locales to watch a giant lizard and gargantuan gorilla battle it out for our enjoyment. Godzilla vs Kong in this sense succeeds for the most part. When Kong and Godzilla are on screen they dominate your attention with their moves and their surprising relatability. I was in Godzilla’s corner but that didn’t mean I was against Kong.

The film feels like much more of Kong film. This is likely due to his challenger position. We spend more time with him, to the point where Godzilla is gone for approximately fifteen minutes. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if this weren’t the shortest of the Monsterverse films, clocking in at just under two hours.

To further compound the issue of not enough time with our titular monsters there is a completely unnecessary subplot in the film involving Milly Bobby Brown’s character Maddy. She is trying to figure why Godzilla is going nuts around the world and whenever she and her two lackeys popped up on screen I audibly groaned.

These characters continue the legacy of pointless human characters in a film. They follow the likes of characters from the Transformers franchise, the TMNT franchise and most recently Tom and Jerry which focused far too heavily on the humans than our fictional heroes.

If this whole section of the film was cut out and streamlined with the rest of the film with the remaining human cast the film would flow much better. Not only that there would probably be more time with Kong and Godzilla which is why we’re here.

Godzilla vs Kong – it should have been the king

This film is saved by its titular figures. When these two brawlers come to blows you feel the rumbles. Sadly by distracting us with so many unnecessary characters it dilutes the impact of these behemoths. When choices were made for the characters in this film as well as for where the film ends up the director and his team go for the safest choices.

If you have seen any other iterations of Godzilla, for example, Shin Godzilla (which I highly recommend you watch) or the anime series on Netflix Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters you have seen far more imaginative versions. Godzilla and Kong do come out of this film pretty well though, I have no complaints about these two. The cinematography and special effects are also top-notch. They give a sense of frenetic energy whenever anything is going wrong and in a world with these two a lot is going wrong.

Godzilla vs Kong is a lot of fun but it is easily the worst of the Monsterverse films for me. It doesn’t quite have the grandeur of Godzilla, the wildness of Kong: Skull Island or the mass insanity of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It has one plot too many, far too many humans and an ending that just felt flat. Thankfully though it does have a bunch of phenomenal fight scenes between two legends of cinema that give better performances than the majority of the cast so that’s something.

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