‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ is the Legendary Monster Brawl We’ve Been Waiting For

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Published April 18, 2021
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The Montclarion
"Godzilla vs. Kong" is available on HBO Max. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. Pictures released the epic monster clash that lives up to its heavy-weight hype, showing us what a king is to a god.

The fourth film in the MonsterVerse franchise, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is a sequel to “Kong: Skull Island” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” It serves as the perfect love letter to fans of Kaiju (monsters), mecha (robots) and anime.

Although I’m not a traditional fan of Godzilla or King Kong, I am well aware this work pays good homage to the classic films, and the focus on both Godzilla and Kong is greatly appreciated. The rivalry between them is straightforward, which is how a monster feud should be.

My only gripe with this film is that it doesn’t recap what happened in its prequels as it should have. Some of the references regarding the lore within the MonsterVerse might be confusing. It’s basically mandatory to watch the other films in order to understand the events happening in “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

This film is meant to provoke minimal thinking, as a villain’s nefarious plan is introduced and then immediately thrown away when action is shown. It surprisingly made the entire movie enjoyable when it became evident that these choices were intentional.

What’s intriguing and may be taken for granted is though the writing might seem sloppy, director Adam Wingard compensates by showing a fantastic, action-packed brawl while subtly incorporating story arcs through the monsters rather than the human characters.

Based on how these story arcs are displayed, the film feels like an intriguing sequel for both Kong and Godzilla.

Godzilla is on a rampage to be the only alpha while also learning how to be friends with other monsters, especially the ones that won’t bend a knee, such as Kong who yields to nobody. Meanwhile, Kong is shown to have a good relationship with humans as he looks for a new home.

I appreciate how Kong is presented to have a more heroic role. Godzilla has a much bigger media history, while Kong has previously been shown doing the same thing over and over again such as climbing the Empire State Building. Seeing Kong with a more original role is an improvement.

The monsters roar it out in the middle of Hong Kong. Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios

“Godzilla vs. Kong” has a definitive winner in the end.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The human characters are interesting to watch. However, there are some that lack the intrigue factor. For example, Josh Valentine, portrayed by Julian Dennison, is very obnoxious.

The better characters, such as Madison Russell, played by Millie Bobby Brown, and Nathan Lind, played by Alexander Skarsgård, have roles in which they develop connections with the monsters.

The cinematography that displays Kong and Godzilla is well done. Most monster movies from the 20th century were good, but the motion picture wasn’t real enough to display giant monsters. They all looked like walking action figures the size of buildings, especially Mechagodzilla.

Something I had an incredibly tough time imagining was how Mechagodzilla, the antagonist, would be incorporated into a live-action film. A monster that is the machine version of Godzilla sounds silly, but this movie makes it work.

This crossover film is a much better adaptation than the original 1962 “King Kong vs. Godzilla,” which lacks the proper fundamentals of both characters, such as the size difference from their own respective films.

One of the best things about the film, without giving away spoilers, is that there is a definitive winner in the end. It doesn’t end with a tie like most battle films have.

Overall, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is a fun movie to watch two legendary monsters fight. It is available on HBO Max, but this is definitely a film worth watching in theaters.

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