Film Review – Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong (M)

Directed by: Adam Wingard

Starring: Alexander Skarsgård , Rebecca Hall, Millie Bobby Brown

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Buckle up for the biggest and loudest cinematic biffo this year as two monster titans go head to head in one epic, CGI-fueled extravaganza of destruction and bonkers, nonsensical plot deveopments.

After the devastating, city flattening events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), life has gone back to normal, but before you can say “cinematic Monsterverse”, Godzilla rises from the ocean to attack tech company Apex Cybernetics’ seaside facility and the seemingly unprovoked act sends humans into a panic, convinced he is now a threat.

Concerned that a battle is brewing between Godzilla and Kong, now in an isolated facility being studied by Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), Geologist Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) gets the genius idea to take the giant gorilla to the mythic Hollow Earth in the centre of the planet to collect a supposed power source to help them battle the lizardy beast. Except they don’t even know if it exists, no one has ever been there, and they may never return.

Along for the life threatening, potentially one-way ticket ride is Dr. Andrews adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle), who has bonded with Kong and can communicate with him.

Meanwhile, Godzilla stan Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown, over-acting so as not to be overshadowed by the battling beasts – her reaction to a USB is hilariously baffling) teams with her comic relief buddy Josh (Julian Dennison) and former Apex employee slash conspiracy theorist podcaster Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) to find out what was at the facility that drew Godzilla out of his hibernation.

What they find is just a handful of bonkers plot developments that happens in this “everything including the kitchen sink” approach to blockbuster filmmaking.

Director Adam Wingard, who usually dabbles in horror, is clearly having a blast in large scale action mode concocting a battle to appease the masses – or at the very least, the demographic of dudes in their teens to 30s. Every swooping, spinning camera move around each fist blow has a flair to it – the titular showdowns certainly won’t disappoint.

Look, the overstuffed and yet miraculously tight script (this somehow clocks in a running time of under two hours) by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein doesn’t make a lick of sense (a telepathic monster skull?!) as it adds layers of left-field absurdities to keep the story going and justify the ongoing fisticuffs, but you are never bored and always surprised.

But will you remember a frame of it after the credits roll? Unlikely. Godzilla vs. Kong is all spectacle and in-the-moment entertainment with zero resonance. It certainly delivers what it promises, and a few extra goodies for good measure.

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