Warner Bros deliver their second shared universe super showdown after Batman Vs Superman with the epic Godzilla Vs Kong. Thankfully in this film the two titans don’t put aside their differences when they realise they both know Mothra!
2014’s Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (2019) feel like warm up bouts to this movie. This is the franchise’s Rumble In The Jungle, the Thrilla In Manilla. The prospect of seeing these two duke it out is enough to get bums on seats. Or if in the UK, enough to purchase it on PVOD to watch on the biggest TV in the house. You almost don’t even need a plot.
Which is probably what the filmmakers were thinking as well because there isn’t really one. Certainly not one that will be winning any Best Original Screenplay Oscars that’s for sure.
When Godzilla attacks a technology company on the coast of Florida, a group of scientists look to find a power source capable of defeating a titan. Their plan involves using Kong to travel to the Hollow Earth. A mythical land supposedly at the Earth’s core that is where all titans originated. This leads to a mish mash of ideas borrowed from films such as Voyage To The Centre Of The Earth and, of all films, The Core!
There are several surprises in the movie. The biggest one has to be the fact that unlike many other blockbusters of recent years, everything wasn’t given away in the trailers so no spoilers from us. As for certain toy manufacturers however…
It will come as no surprise that the human characters are given short shrift and are there purely to advance the (razor thin) plot and gasp in awe at the behemoths. After the end credits roll, it would be difficult to name any of them without resorting to Imdb.
The most important question however is: Does it deliver on the title’s promise of an epic smackdown between a giant ape and and giant lizard? The answer to that question is a resounding YES.
It is a shame that Warner Bros couldn’t have waited until the 17th May in the UK so that could have had a cinema release. This is the one film released so far during the pandemic that screams for that big screen experience.
The bright neon lights of Hong Kong are a world away from the drab, murky cinematography of King Of The Monsters. It meant that most of the monster v monster action in that sequel was nigh-on unseeable and unwatchable. Here the action is bright, crystal clear, coherent and the CGI is fantastic.
A phrase that is often used to describe a movie like this is “thrill ride” and director Adam Wingard takes that literally. There are some sequences in the final act where the camera moves in and out of the action as though the audience is on a rollercoaster at Universal Studios that is always mere inches away from being hit or eaten by Kong or Godzilla.
Is it a case of style over substance. Absolutely. This is King Kong after all. Not King Lear. This never set out to be anything other than a giant slice of entertainment that the cinema industry has desperately been craving. Godzilla Vs Kong delivers action and spectacle by the bucket load and will leave anyone who wants to see a giant ape hit a giant lizard in the face with an axe very satisfied.
Godzilla Vs Kong is available on Premium Video On Demand from Thursday 1st April.
Director: Adam Wingard
Stars: Godzilla, Kong, Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, Millie Bobby Brown
Runtime: 113 minutes