Review: Godzilla vs. Kong

At just under 2hrs. Godzilla vs. Kong may be the shortest of the MonsterVerse films thus far but it may also be the best of them and while usually I enjoy longer films, if Zack Snyder’s Justice League has taught me anything it’s that sometimes trimming some of the fat can definitely be a good thing,

Serving as a sequel to both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla vs. Kong sees the two titans do battle in some of the best looking CGI monster fights I’ve ever seen.

To be honest the only thing I really wanted from this film was to see Godzilla and Kong get in a fight.

More often than not in these types of films, the human element really slows the momentum of the film and for the most part all we really want to do is get to the next big action scene. There’s clearly a time and a place for character moments on screen, but this isn’t really that kind of film. Whereas most movies usually require things such as a good a plot, character development and the like to drive a story forward, in this instance I’m kind of happy watching the big monsters go at it.

I don’t need much to be entertained in a film like this. The human element is obviously still present but it feels quite minimal in comparison to previous films in the franchise and only serves as a vehicle to get the two title characters to square off as quickly as possible. I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a lot more character stuff and plot points left on the cutting room floor so for once it seems like the studio behind a film like this actually listened to the audience. They know what their audience wanted and they delivered on it.

Anyone who has seen the trailer for this film knows what to expect and you won’t be disappointed. Unlike some other versus films out there that fail to live up to expectations (Alien vs. Predator comes to mind) Godzilla vs. Kong delivers big on the action and popcorn moments and I can see fans of both movie monsters being equally satisfied with the end result.

Like the films before, the thing that Godzilla vs. Kong does well is show off the scale of these creatures. They truly feel like the titans of the ancient world they’re supposed to be. They feel like they have real weight to them when they move however, maybe I’m imagining things but Godzilla feels a little smaller than he did in his previous outings but that might have something to do with how he moves this time around.

Godzilla is quick and he is agile in his battle against Kong and he behaves more like an animal would whereas Kong shows off his intellect a lot more and doesn’t resort to sheer brute strength like you might expect.

When comparing the fight scenes to what has come before in the previous films you can tell both Godzilla and Kong have learned from their past experiences and the special effects team who put together these fights are just phenomenal at they what they do.

Too often I feel visual effects artists are left unappreciated in the grand scheme of things. We’re quick to praise the writing, the actors, the directors etc but the real heroes in today’s film industry are the visual effects teams and stuff like Godzilla vs. Kong just shows how far we’ve come over the last decade. I mean this film may have been possible in 2011, but it would have sucked.

If there’s any negatives to Godzilla vs. Kong it’d be the fact we’re no longer in the semi-grounded world that 2014’s Godzilla introduced us to. We are full on over the top sci-fi monster movie mayhem at this point and while I’m into it, fans of that original entry into the MonsterVerse may be disappointed in the direction the franchise has taken.

Overall though, I don’t really know what else to say about this film that wouldn’t result in major spoilers but Godzilla vs. Kong is essentially a film about a big monkey punching a big dinosaur and that made me happy. I think it’ll make you happy too.

by Edward Laing