Marvel and DC combined their cinematic universes to create an epic battle between two of the most famous movie monsters in the history of cinema: Godzilla and King Kong. “Godzilla vs. Kong” was released on March 31 in theaters and on HBO Max.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe have both proven that introducing characters within their own movies and then teaming them up after the fact is an amazing idea — which can be seen with the spectacular ratings and box office reviews of The Avengers franchise and recent DC hits like “Wonder Woman” (2017), “Shazam!” (2019) and “Aquaman” (2018). And now after getting movies set in their own cinematic universe through the MonsterVerse by Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. Studios, they finally join together with a 200 million dollar budget to have an extraordinary battle in order to determine which Kaiju, or giant monster, will come out on top.
This movie gives everyone exactly what the title promises and it does not disappoint. The story is very entertaining and the script mostly focuses on the buildup and subsequent battle between the two monsters. It starts by introducing Kong, seemingly on Skull Island, who throws a tree into the air to reveal he is imprisoned in a high-tech government facility. His closest companion is a little girl who is deaf and teaches him sign language. The film then cuts to Godzilla who goes on a rampage for reasons that are slowly revealed throughout the film; setting up the rivalry between Godzilla and Kong. The government wants Kong to fight Godzilla to stop him from causing more havoc, as well as getting him safely to the Hollow Earth, an underground world where giant monsters reside.
The movie is pretty well-paced with balancing the monster fight scenes and the human interactions leading up to the action sequences. Most of the dialogue contributes to the humor, which is needed in a movie meant to be fun. It does a great job moving from the dialogue scenes to the monster fight scenes which helped to move the plot along with sci-fi information that the audience is not supposed to understand.
Godzilla and Kong both have interesting character arcs in the film. Godzilla wants to reign supreme over the planet’s ecosystem and is being drawn to mysterious sources of nuclear energy. Kong, on the other hand, is trying to find a peaceful place to live. Even without watching the Monsterverse movies, the opening credits do an excellent job of keeping you up to speed with archive footage and newsreels, while not spoiling anything that occurs in the film. The writers and the effects team have managed to embrace the creativity of what can be possible in this world that they have created. The only downside is the lack of screen time for the human characters which only allows for little character development. Though, actors like Millie Bobby Brown and Alexander Skarsgård bring a lot of charisma to these simple roles.
The cinematography and the visual effects are both breathtaking. The use of color — whether it’s Godzilla’s energy breath, dialogue scenes in light-up bars or the final battle in Hong Kong at night — is truly incredible to look at. The creature designs are truly imaginative and the computer-generated imagery (CGI) used on the characters allows them to move realistically. Even when the CGI is a little too heavy, the mythical monsters look menacing and manage to look very real. The creature’s body movements, facial expressions and skin rendering make them look like true animals.
Godzilla and Kong ultimately face off in a beautifully lit-up Hong Kong and slug it out, nearly destroying the whole city before Godzilla pins Kong down and injures him, leaving him for dead. A weakened Kong is then revived by the science team using an electric pulse from one of their ships, and together he and Godzilla work together to destroy a common enemy, Mechagodzilla. In the end, the two monsters go their separate ways and Kong finally takes his place as King of Monsters in the Hollow Earth.
Overall, if you are looking for a high-budget action film to fill your Friday night with, then “Godzilla vs. Kong” is the movie to check out. While not a life-changing film, it is one of the most entertaining blockbusters in recent years that is almost guaranteed to get people back in the cinema during the pandemic.