Review: Godzilla vs. Kong, who won the Monster Verse fight?
New Delhi: Godzilla vs. Kong requires a basic knowledge of the premise of the other films of the Warner Bros’ Monster Verse to be on the same page with all that is unfolding on screen. There are numerous references to events, characters and theories that have been shown and dealt with in the previous films of the franchise and if you didn’t know about them, chances are you will find the proceedings difficult to connect with or even follow. Godzilla vs. Kong is out now on HBO Max and has hit the theatres as well, and in our opinion, the latest Monster Verse movie was a fun ride.
Ever since I saw the trailer, I was looking forward to Godzilla vs. Kong. Being a fan, I liked the previous King Kong and Godzilla movies like Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Even though this isn’t the first time these two iconic titans fought against each other on screen, it was something else to see these more recent incarnations of them fight.
Godzilla vs. Kong definitely has a lot of issues on display but is nonetheless pretty entertaining and delivers on its promise. I won’t spoil much of the plot, it doesn’t do a lot of surprising things and the plot is pretty predictable, but I think there are some moments you better experience yourself.
The tone of Godzilla (2014) was pretty dark, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was lighter and had more jokes, but still took itself somewhat seriously. Godzilla vs. Kong borders on self awareness, and doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s a very predictable storyline, even more than previous movies.
Another thing to note is that there is less focus on the humans compared to past Godzilla movies. There is a connection between an orphan girl and Kong, and I thought that part was genuinely well done. On the whole, though, you don’t have any emotional connection to the rest of the characters or plot. On one hand, it does feel like there’s not a whole lot of substance and that it’s just only focusing on the fight scenes.
On the other hand, it’s very easy to follow, the movie flies by with a quick pace and a small runtime of an hour and 50 minutes, and it gives the audience what they want.
Not to mention that the human stuff isn’t generally well received from the past movies, so there’s no half baked family drama here. The first act is pretty rough, it felt disjointed and a bit all over the place, with a lot of brief exposition dumps. After the first fight between Godzilla and Kong though, that’s when the movie really picked up for me.
Also without getting too into it, the third act is very satisfying. The trailers have actually done a great job at showing glimpses of big moments, but keeping much of the true highlights away from the audience until they actually watch the movie.
Past Monster Verse movies aimed to empathise with both creatures, so naturally in this movie we have to have one of them as the hero of the narrative, this movie chose Kong. I guess it’s a bit easier to empathise with him over Godzilla.
The humans are always the weakest parts of such movies, and Godzilla vs. Kong is no exception. However I do think that overall the characters are better than some of the past movies (though not by much), and the cast do well enough on their parts. Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, and Kaylee Hottle are the main characters in one storyline involving Kong, and Brian Tyree Henry, Millie Bobby Brown, and Julian Dennison are the main characters looking into why Godzilla is suddenly attacking cities.
Godzilla vs. Kong is over the top, has a predictable story, and has some thinly written characters. But it’s also incredibly entertaining, visually stunning, and has some very satisfying action. If you liked any of the Monster Verse movies, I think you can enjoy this one. If you can, try to watch it on the big screen because it’s quite an experience. As a movie, it’s not all that great, I think at least most of the other Monster Verse movies are better than it, but Godzilla vs. Kong is still very entertaining for what it is.
Last little note, some of the Monster Verse movies had end credits scenes, but this one doesn’t, in fact there doesn’t seem to be any hint or indication of a follow up movie.
Release Date: 25/03/2021
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Julian Dennison, Demián Bichir
Director: Adam Wingard