Godzilla vs Kong is everything it needs to be. It’s exaclty what you want and delivers perfectly on its premise. It’s a spectacle of big ass movie making where two giant monsters slug it out with all the roaring, punching, biting, smashing, pounding and stomping you could want.
In the best way possible, it feels like a child wrote the movie by smashing their toys together. What else were you expecting? It whips ass.
It’s Thicc Lizzy and Beeg Monke duking it out. Once. Twice. And then a third time! Plus some other great monster scenes and an expansion of this universe further into fantasy and wonder. Also wink wink ending wink wink.
Thankfully this movie is shot well. If it wasn’t it would die a death. Such a big part of the wonder of these movies is how well they’re shot and how intense the sound is engineered. There’s cinematography on display and some actual style. Director Adam Wingard did have a vision here and made sure you can understand it. They’re shot from far away to give you scale but in tight to keep things intimate.
They aren’t hiding these characters in darkness or rain. There aren’t cutaways to the humans reacting to things we don’t see happening. There’s no confusion during an action scene. This isn’t Michael Bay Transformers. It isn’t a bunch of visual mess.
When they fight at night you get them backlight by the neon lights of Hong Kong. It works excellently to illuminate every nook and cranny of Godzilla’s scales. It works perfectly in theme with Godzilla and his radioactive white-blue scales and breath.
Kong moves differently, fights differently and sounds differently. This all gives him is own character instead of just being Monster 2. He’s the hero character. This movie is as much about him than it is anything or anyone else. The humans can communicate with him and he can communicate back. He can smile and emote. Godzilla doesn’t do any of that.
Humanizing Kong relies on the best human character in the movie, Jia. She’s played by Kaylee Hottle and is the only human character that Kong can trust. They communicate using sign language and without her, Kong would never get on board or trust the humans enough to fight for them against Godzilla.
The humans are the human characters. You’ve got your conspiracy freaks, mad scientists, regular fellas, military dudes, evil business pricks and good folks. Are the characters deep? No. Do they need to be? Also no. Would it be better if they were? I don’t know. They don’t really do too much but they do help to move the plot along and serve the framework of a story as you take a breath between action scenes.
It’s Tyranitar vs Rillaboom. That’s why you’re watching. The human drama is always the downside to these movies but there has to be a plot to action along. The humans do the least this time out compared to the others and that rocks.
I won’t get too into the plot as it can easily become spoilers, but Godzilla is attacking science corporation military experiment bases. We don’t know why. Then we find out.
There is also some evil human plot about energy or whatever. Doesn’t really matter. It’s just an excuse to have the humans around to speak exposition and move the movie from setting to setting.
That’s how we get our fight on aircraft carriers on the ocean with boats and missiles. That’s how we get our crazy theme park VR ride where we see more monsters and the world expands into fantasy. It’s how we get to the night time fight and then the day time fight.
For the most part the humans stay out of the way. They’ve finally realized that rifles and F-22’s aren’t going to do anything to these titans. The humans do get their little victory moments but they are little.
We’re here to watch the Dragonzord fight Optimus Primal. The movie doesn’t forget that. This movie is far more sci-fi fantasy than it is realistic. That’s what I want, but I did appreciate 2014’s Godzilla because of how real world it felt. Kong in 2017 felt the same, relatively speaking.
But I don’t know how you do King of the Monsters and then this versus movie by keeping things so grounded.
My only complaint for this movie is that I wasn’t able to see it in a theatre. I bought it on demand, turned the lights off, turned up the surround sound and made a night in of it. But that won’t do this movie justice the way that a giant screen in a dark theatre with a booming sound system would. I’m going to keep my eyes open for a re-run showing of this in the cinema sometime.
It’s all this and a bag of chips in under two hours. There are no wasted scenes and nothing is drawn out artificially.
I don’t know how you could watch this movie and be unhappy with it. Did you not know what you’re sitting down to watch? Give me more monster movies. I’d love to see one of these with Guillermo Del Toro at the helm.
This movie isn’t playing tricks on you. Godzilla. King Kong. Wrestlemania.
Sit back and mark out.