Godzilla vs. Kong

Monster super slugfest. When you get two of the most iconic giant monsters together, monster super slugfest is what you should expect. Thankfully, Godzilla vs. Kong delivers in that department.

When Godzilla unexpectedly attacks an Apex Cybernetics technical site, CEO Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) approached expert/author/scientist Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) for ideas on what to do. Nathan traveled to Skull Island to try and convince a former colleague, Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), to use Kong, who she had been studying for years, to lead them to Hollow Earth, the legendary location believed to be the birthplace of the Titans.

Bringing Kong with them, the giant ape’s very presence attracted the attention of Godzilla, kicking off the ultimate battle of the alphas.

I believe that this movie is the best of the recent series of monster movies that include Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. None of these movies were bad, per se. In fact, I liked most of them. However, they all suffered from the same misstep. The film focused way too much on the human characters and limited the amount of time with the monsters.

Admittedly, these movies require some form of human characters to hold the film together between huge monster fights, but some of the previous films may not have known exactly what the intent was of the film.

There are a couple of interesting characters here. The little deaf girl who had formed a connection with Kong, Jia (Kaylee Hottle) was one of the best. Kaylee Hottle makes her film debut in this role and she does a fantastic job. Millie Bobby Brown returns in her role as Madison from Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Kyler Chandler returns as her father with very little to do. Brian Tyree Henry plays a paranoid podcaster filled with conspiracy theories the whole way.

Godzilla vs. Kong does a much better job of balancing the humans and the monsters. The film seems to clearly have these human characters as thin plot points. They exist to put the minutes in the film as down periods. This film knows what we want.

The battles with Kong and Godzilla are some of the best of the series. The CGI and effects are beautiful and awe-inspiring. Once the film brings Kong and Godzilla together, it picks up the pace dramatically. While the first 30-45 minutes are fairly slow, the first watery fight is amazing.

The third act of the movie is just fire. Some of the best monster fights you could hope for. These battles are planned out perfectly and the choreography is on point. Yes, the plot is thin and contains plenty of holes, but it is good enough for what it needed to be. It needed to be there for an excuse to bring Kong and Godzilla face to face.

And kudos to the writers in having a clear cut winner between the two Titans while still maintaining the aura and the mystique of both of these icons.

Godzilla vs. Kong is a lot of fun and a full blown spectacle that should be enjoyed as what it is. A monster throwdown.

4 stars

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