Review: Godzilla Vs. Kong (2021)

  • Director: Adam Wingard
  • Writer: Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein 
  • Stars:  Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Kaylee Hottle

Review

Godzilla throughout his whole film evolution has always been an environmental warrior or the result of environmental desecration by humans. Godzilla Vs. Kong puts that in the bin and sets course for monster smack down.

Sometime has passed since Godzilla took down King Ghidorah and there has not been any sightings or attacks. We find out that Skull Island has been turned into a sanctuary for Kong, partly to be exploited and partly to protect him from Godzilla’s need to be the alpha titan. There is a sweet (bittersweet) and funny sequence involving Kong waking up and going through a morning ritual before remembering that he is in the containment area. From there we are introduced to Ilene Andrews (Hall), Nathan Lind (Skarsgård), another tech company called Apex, a whistle blowing podcaster (Henry) and a little girl, Jia (Hottle) that can communicate and has a bond with Kong and returning characters Madison (Brown) and her father Mark (Chandler). As Godzilla seemingly attacks a random Apex facility, things begin to spiral out of control…

There is a lot going on in this film and at the same time not much. Once again the humans in these films slow down the momentum, the film could have been ten or fifteen minutes shorter, excising some of the human content and expediting the plot but this is a studio tent pole film, so the runtime is expected. The monster fights between Kong and Godzilla are fantastic though. The film pits them against each other in a bunch of places that look amazing, be it in the water or a particular neon lit city sequence that is spectacular.

Wingard directs and produces arguably the best monster moments of the whole series, also infusing a good dose of visual humour as well. The downside is the writing, sure you don’t expect Shakespeare but some of the dialogue leaves a bit to be desired, however monsters fighting are why you’re here and you’ll get that in spades. It hints at the exploitation of animals and other issues but prefers to just keep things skating along on the surface. Also it would be a big error if I didn’t mention Junkie XL’s score which is spot on for this film.

Godzilla Vs. Kong is what it promises. Two of the most loved big monsters up against each other and you’ll immediately know if this film is for you from the title. A film that has a big imagination and bigger monsters.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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