“Godzilla vs. Kong” is the latest sequel in the MonsterVerse. This is a film I enjoyed and I think it might be the strongest of the 4 films, if only for going all in on the monsters and them and their motivations. Humans have never been the strongest part of these films and I liked that they mostly took a back seat in this. So, if you thought the past films were enjoyable to good you will probably like this one as much as I did, without getting into spoilers.
The film was directed by Adam Wingard and written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein.
The story takes place 5 years after “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and follows Kong being monitored in a Monarch facility as Godzilla has been mysteriously riled up and is attacking Apex Cybernetics Facilities around the globe.
Why Godzilla is Active – The basic premise of Godzilla being active and attacking Apex when he hasn’t been attacking humanity shows that humanity isn’t up to anything good. This works as a basic premise as it gives a good mystery and a reason for Apex to bring in Kong to face Godzilla.
The Kong Story and Discovering His Past – This is Kong and the origin story of his people as we discover they came from the Hollow Earth and here he finds a weapon made from one of Godzilla’s ancestors scales that can be charged with Godzilla’s atomic breathe to fight him. This is a great arc and his sympathy for humanity given his time on Skull Island and his time with the people there made sense too. Well Godzilla wins at first, Kong wins round 2 and Godzilla wins the their last fight as he learns not to use atomic breathe when Kong has the axe. All of this learning eventually leads to him forgiving Godzilla after being defeated and them facing off against the real big bad.
Mecha-Godzilla / Return of King Ghidorah – So humans are trying to use Mecha-Godzilla with one of King Ghidorah’s heads taken from “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” The head takes control and begins killing everything as well as getting revenge against Godzilla until Kong comes to help. Together they are able to defeat Mecha-Godzilla and come to an understanding. It is a great fight and I liked it better than “Batman vs. Superman” in that way.
Godzilla – Godzilla and Kong are the best parts of these films and I care more about Godzilla who isn’t really always an ally of humans just a force of nature. The fact that Godzilla and Kong come to respect each other was an expected twist but one I liked after all the monsters bowed to Godzilla at the end of the last film. In this we see that Godzilla’s tiny arms suck in combat (Mecha-Godzilla’s got reach) and that atomic breath isn’t useful when weapons absorb it and are against you. This felt like Godzilla learning and figuring out how to exist as not the only top Titan and it really worked because of that.
Human Allies – They are all okay. They range from bland and somewhat interesting bad for both the good guys and the bad guys. I’m not going to mention any specific people because they exist to advance the plot for Godzilla and Kong and in that way they function. I wish they were written better though.
Show Don’t Tell – “Kong: Skull Island” probably has the best written human characters and this one plays this mostly as action heroes or comedic relief. It is fine when it isn’t cringe but there is some cringe in here and most of it is them explaining the plot. So this was a con.
Apex – Apex is the bland third faction that in the end isn’t smart and loses really quick. I would have liked to see humans get a win and stand a chance fighting the Titans but you won’t see that in this film. In this they are just a vessel for King Ghidorah’s revenge.
I had a good time with this film. It won’t make my Top 5 at the end of the year but it didn’t have to. I’d like to see more stories and the return of more of the classic monsters we saw in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” This is a franchise that doesn’t need to be great to work it just needs to make the monsters interesting, which it has since the first film. I’d watch more of these films and I hope this isn’t the last.
Final Score: 8.2 / 10