Godzilla vs. Kong Review: An epic rematch for the ages
The great rematch that’s been brewing since 1962 with King Kong vs. Godzilla comes out in full force with amazingly destructive and eye-dazzling action in Legendary and Warner Bros.’ Godzilla vs. Kong.
Since being crowned King of the Monsters after defeating King Ghidorah and saving humanity, the mighty Godzilla has become a major threat as he’s been attacking cities for a seemingly unknown reason. With few options, a new shady tech developer known as Apex Industries looks to unearth a power that could make them able to take down Godzilla for good. However, they are forced to have assistance from Kong, who is now in an enclosed Monarch facility on Skull Island, to find this power. Godzilla senses Kong’s presence though and it leads the two to fight for supremacy. So, as humanity’s fate hangs in the balance, these two titans clash to see who the King of the Monsters truly is.
These films tend to have a similar trend with them having weak human characters, but amazing monster fights and Godzilla vs. Kong is no exception. Aside from Brian Tyree Henry’s incredibly fun performance as conspiracy podcaster Bernie, none of the performances stand out and are incredibly bland. It’s cool to see Millie Bobbie Brown and Kyle Chandler return as their characters from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but they don’t really do anything and honestly have very little reason to be there. Everyone else is essentially your typical comic relief, corrupt corporate-type or scientist, or stock main characters to keep the plot going. Honestly, the whole corrupt corporation stuff that always manages to be in these movies is a big part of why these human stories fall a little flat. It’s also a big reason that Godzilla’s half of the film is much less story-driven than Kong’s.
With two films already under Godzilla’s belt, the decision to make Kong’s journey with the humans and discovering his roots the driving force of the film ends up being a smart decision even if it might bum some people on Team Godzilla out a bit. The emotional connection with Kong is much stronger than it was in Kong: Skull Island and it’s in large part to the film uncovering other elements of his origins. His journey in finding his new home leads to the discovery of a new world within Earth known as the Hollow Earth – where more destructive creatures could come out of in the future. It’s pretty much just like Skull Island with some new creatures that have really awesome designs and an interesting concept on gravity that’s visually stunning. It also fleshes out some good lore for Kong’s ancestry that gives him a bit of an edge in the battles that ensue afterwards. The film definitely tries harder to paint Kong as the more emotionally connectable “good guy” of the two, but it at least comes with some strong character and lore building that fans on either side will surely appreciate.
Let’s be real though, you’re really here to know if the monster battles are as epic as ever and you’re damn right they are. The first instance of these two titans colliding is a perfect, action-packed appetizer on the water with the two using battleships as floating platforms while they beat the hell out of each other. It’s undeniably epic and sets up the amazing final rounds that take place in a neon-soaked Hong Kong. Just watching this gorgeous city be torn apart by these two iconic creatures just going to town on each other is a visual marvel. From Kong using the axe of his ancestors to Godzilla utilizing his atomic breath to keep Kong on his heels, this battle is truly one for the ages. Not to mention, it does have a definitive winner and has conclusions for both characters that feel satisfying and keep things relatively open for more in the MonsterVerse in the future.
The only thing that weakens the final battle as a whole is the new character/monster that’s introduced in the final act. While I won’t say who’s exactly introduced, even though there’s a trailer out there that totally spoils it, the big issue is that the introduction to this monster is totally underwhelming. The origins of this character are interesting and tie-in well to the last film, but the character-design is weak, watching it fight isn’t all that interesting, and how it is defeated is epic in some ways, but kind of dull in others with how the humans attempt to help. It’s certainly great that the MonsterVerse continues to add fan-favorite characters, but this one is certainly one of their weakest.
Godzilla vs. Kong is the epic and visually mind-blowing rematch of destruction fans have been waiting for with some usual contrived plot elements and characters being overshadowed by the chaotic fights that are even more amazing to watch in theaters, cool world-building, and fun surprises for fans.