Godzilla vs Kong: A colossal brawl that magnificently delivers what we tuned in to see
To paraphrase UFC announcer Bruce Buffer, this is the main event of the year – the moment we’ve all been waiting for. It’s time. The much-anticipated fight between Godzilla and King Kong takes place in the grand canvas of blockbuster cinema. As promised by director Adam Wingard, there’s no Hollywood cop-out when determining the winner of the simian versus the saurian.
This fourth movie, following the insufficiency of Gareth Evans’s Godzilla reboot and the inconsistency of Michael Dougherty’s sequel (Kong: Skull Island was alright, though), proves to be the Monsterverse’s best entry yet. With greater presence from the titular characters, truly spectacular action and an appealing tone complemented by eye-popping visuals – remember the awfully dark climax of King of the Monsters? – this is a monstrous improvement on its predecessors.
However, there is a caveat to the mammoth proceedings. Like the previous films, there is more human palavering than one would like there to be. Mercifully, it’s not as intrusive as it was when we were witnessing the showdown between Godzilla and Ghidorah and it inexplicably kept cutting to the reactions of Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler and co.
The latter pair return as the scientist father-daughter duo who still believe in Godzilla’s heroism after the beast runs riot and is designated public enemy no 1, targeted by a tech entrepreneur (Demián Bichir) who wants to eradicate the kaiju with the help of Kong. The actors are joined by a host of newcomers who carry more charisma than the previous cast. They include Rebecca Hall, Julian Dennison, Eiza González, Alexander Skarsgård, Brian Tyree Henry and Kaylee Hottle, an emerging young Deaf actress whose character Jia holds the key to establishing peace.
Occasionally Godzilla vs Kong tends towards the direction of Brown vs Bichir, both playing characters with the most stake in Godzilla’s fate for vastly different reasons. At other times, it’s like Jurassic Park on acid with its bizarre earthly journey, crossing a prehistoric ecosystem named Hollow Earth in which an otherworldly power source is located. But the most surprising direction here is that – no spoilers – it doesn’t hide its biased sympathies. The ape is seen as the saviour from the tyrannical lizard. He’s the one we closely follow and the one we’re instructed to empathise with, considering his bond with Jia. It wouldn’t be surprising if Team Godzilla finds themselves in two minds as the conflict escalates.
Excess lore and human bother aside, Godzilla vs Kong magnificently delivers what we tuned in to see. The colossal brawls impel our loudest onomatopoeias, enthusiastically staged as if Wingard is a kid playing with his favourite toys. Multiple rounds of battle occur between the chief behemoths plus a third major threat, who has been the film’s worst kept secret throughout its marketing period. It almost feels criminal to watch it all unfold on the small screen but, following multiple delays, we’re just grateful to finally see it.
Godzilla vs Kong is released digitally on premium on demand on 1st April 2021.
Watch the trailer for Godzilla vs Kong here: