Godzilla vs Kong, directed by the great and powerful Adam Wingard, is a 2021 film set in the ‘MonsterVerse’. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey, in search for his ‘true’ home on planet Earth. However, their path gets entangled with an enraged Godzilla, who has recently been exhibiting unusual behavior by launching a crusade of destruction across the globe. Confrontation & combat between the two titans is ensued, largely driven by their desire to become the alpha predator, while also being encouraged by mysterious man made reasons.
The CGI in this two hour action flick was AMAZING. Both Godzilla and Kong had a towering and commanding presence. Their movements and interactions with the environment were sophisticated, reinforcing just how far CGI has progressed over the past few years. The stellar visual effects were also prevalent in the assorted settings used throughout the movie; the lush jungles of Skull Island, the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong, and even the serene and mysterious depths of the Pacific Ocean. These settings made for memorable clashes between Godzilla and Kong.
Obviously, the main spectacle of this film is Godzilla vs Kong. Who comes out on top? I’m not going to spoil this, but I will say that I agreed with the outcome of their duel. The fights themselves were incredibly well shot. They did not disappoint. Wingard utilizes dynamic camera angles during these sequences to give us a taste of different viewing perspectives. Examples include the POV of the titans, the birds eye view and the perspective of the humans. I also admired the absence of any camera tricks that have been used in other films of this universe (particularly Godzilla (2014)) that distracted/hide viewers from the action. In Godzilla vs Kong, the camera points to the direction of the action; not away from it. All the fight sequences were also well lit and easy to follow. The plot of this film was also non-convoluted and well paced. There was plenty of action delivered to us viewers at just the right moments. There also weren’t any scenes that I would outright exclude from the movie; every minute was well utilized.
Now lets talk about the humans. The main criticism of all the preceding films in this ‘MonsterVerse’, were the dull & unmemorable human characters. To some extent, I felt that the writers of this movie understood this criticism and tried their level best to limit the screentime absorbed by the actors. It is without question that Godzilla vs Kong has a star-studded cast; Milly Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Julian Dennison, Alexander Skarsgård & Eiza González all make appearances. However, I question whether it was really needed for these actors to be cast as their roles could’ve been admirably played by literally anybody else (at a much lower cost too). The script was struggling to find interesting things for these characters to do. The only praise I can dish out for any of the human characters was the one played by Kaylee Hottle. She is a deaf actress who played a young girl that is able to communicate with Kong. The personal connection she made with the 50,000 tonne beast was one of the most interesting storylines of this entire franchise.
Some other criticisms I have of this movie is related to Godzilla. Even though he looked great, he was far too mobile. Godzilla’s movement on land was way quicker than I expected it to be, and certainly faster than what it was in previous movies. His speed on land almost matched that of Kong, which doesn’t make any sense if you consider his physical attributes. I also didn’t like how this movie concluded; there was no attempt to set-up any future installment(s) in this universe. Is this the finale of the MonsterVerse? Personally, I see the potential to explore other storylines.
In summary, Godzilla vs Kong was a pleasant viewing experience. It delivered on its promise; a memorable duel between two of earth’s greatest titans. This movie is meant to be watched on the big screen so that one can truly appreciate its groundbreaking visual effects. On the flip side, like other installments in this franchise, the human characters (excl. Kaylee Hottle) were uninteresting. It was also disappointing to not see any sort of set-up or tease for future storylines in this franchise.