QUICKIE REVIEW: “Godzilla vs Kong”

Godzilla vs Kong gave me everything I wanted. Is it an amazing film? No, of course not. But it is a very fun one. My biggest complaint of the MonsterVerse films has always been an overreliance on human characters at the expense of the Titan characters. While Godzilla vs Kong still has a few too many human-based plotlines, the focus always feels squarely on Kong and Godzilla. By tying their plotlines into Godzilla and Kong’s respective character arcs, the filmmakers make it a lot easier to enjoy the human stuff. The movie’s not really about the humans; it’s about Godzilla and Kong—and it’s about time! It’s a simple movie. The bad guys are looking for an energy source from the Hollow Earth for ~questionable~ reasons and they need a Titan to help guide them through the Hollow Earth. So, they team up with a scientist (Dr. Andrews) and her adopted daughter (Jia), who’ve learned to communicate with King Kong, to use Kong as their guide. Meanwhile, Godzilla senses a new threat and begins attacking various human settlements while also hunting down King Kong, who he feels is a threat to his dominance.

What results is a quick-paced, action-packed movie that never takes itself too seriously. The characters take the stakes of their situations seriously, but the film has a lot of fun exploring Kong and Godzilla and luxuriating in the destruction that results from their conflict. The world-building was fun, continuing the franchise’s trend of expanding its world. The Hollow Earth stuff was neat, though I’d have liked to spend more time there. Most impressive, though, was the VFX. While not perfect, the filmmakers knew exactly where to prioritize their budget. Godzilla and King Kong look incredible. The CGI on King Kong does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to making him a sympathetic character, showing him and Jia talking via sign language, showing the loneliness in his eyes. Godzilla, too, looked great, though he wasn’t as much of a focal point as Kong was. While Kong was more sympathetic, Godzilla got to show off how much of a warrior he is and it’s great. The action sequences are brutal and exciting and it’s all just so much fun.

Godzilla vs Kong is the definition of a dumb action movie. The plot, however well executed it is, is just a thin excuse to justify Godzilla and King Kong fighting each other. And honestly, I’m totally fine with it. Big, dumb action movies are an absolute delight and that’s what this one was. Regardless of whether you’re a Godzilla fan or a King Kong fan, there’s a lot to like about this film.

4 out of 5 wands.

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