Godzilla vs. Kong Spoiler-Free Review
The following was written by me and posted onto The Game of Nerds website. I have reposted it here for your enjoyment. #GodzillavsKong
Who would win in a fight? That’s probably one of the most asked questions throughout the course of human history. Since the dawn of story-telling, people have pitted their heroes and cultural icons against each other, wanting to know who would win. There’s the likes of Mario and Sonic, dueling icons of video games. Batman and Superman, the titans of DC Comics. And, of course, there’s the legendary rivarly of Godzilla vs Kong.
Godzilla and King Kong stand at the very pinnacle of the giant monster genre. They are east meets west, mammal vs. reptile, two of the biggest monsters in all of fiction. They fought once sixty years ago, but fans have eagerly kept asking for them to reunite for a final match to see who would win. This Spring, 2021, these cinematic titans finally reunite in Godzilla vs Kong. And it is everything that fans could ask for!
The Backdrop and the Human Story of Godzilla vs Kong
It’s been five years since the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the defeat of Ghidorah. Under Godzilla’s rule, the Titans have kept quiet and left humanity alone while also fixing the damage we’ve done to the planet. Life seems peaceful for everyone. Then, out of the blue, Godzilla seems to go rogue and start attacking cities around the world. Left without a clue as to why, humanity decides that the best solution is to get another Titan to fight Godzilla. Their pick: a now-adult Kong, who’s had to leave a now unstable Skull Island in search of a new home. As a result, MONARCH takes him to this underground world once ruled by his ancestors and discovers what may be the key to beating Godzilla. But has Godzilla really turned on humanity, or did some dumb humans just anger him?
As with the other movies in Legendary Films Monsterverse, Godzilla vs. Kong takes place against the backdrop of a human-influenced plot. Unfortunately, the human half of the film focuses on the humans dealing with the same problem they dealt with in every Monsterverse film. They try and meddle with forces they don’t understand, and it ends up biting them in the butt. Hard. Of course, there are the heroes who understand the bigger picture of the Kaiju and play a key role. However, they get overshadowed by the bad humans who insist on trying to find a way to surpass the Titans and fail to understand that that’s what’s provoking them.
If you’re looking for a deep, philosophical story from the human perspective of Godzilla vs Kong, there isn’t any. The film knows that the audience is only there to watch giant monsters fight, so that’s what it focuses its energy on, and is better for that!
The Fights Succeed Where Batman vs. Superman Failed
Remember Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and how that film promised that Batman and Superman would slug it out on the big screen? That was what every comic book lover had probably dreamed about for years! It should’ve been one of the greatest moments in cinematic history. What we got was an uninteresting, 9 minute fight wedged into a 152-minute long movie. In other words, it failed. MISERABLY.
When it comes to great pop culture rivalries, it’s not just the question of who would win the fight. It’s how they would win the fight, and the fight itself, that matters. Essentially, the fight needs to be a spectacle that’s worth the audience’s time. No matter who wins, someone’s going home disappointed, but it wouldn’t feel as devastating if people walk away thinking that both sides gave it their all. Also, when they have to team up against the inevitable enemy mine and then part ways, everyone can feel satisfied.
Where Batman vs. Superman failed, though, Godzilla vs Kong delivers. The film writers knew that fans would be upset no matter who won, so instead of focusing on getting a winner, they focused on making the fights between the Titans as long and as epic as possible. The first fight occurs at seas around 1/3 through the film and both Monsters get a chance to show off their full might. The rematch begins in the final third of the film in Hong Kong, and neither side holds anything back. Kong has that axe from the trailer, Godzilla’s got his atomic breath, and the neon lights of the city make for a legendary smackdown. I won’t say who wins, but I know that both groups of fans will be able to leave saying “good fight. Really good fight.”
One of the Best Movies of 2021
Godzilla vs Kong is a cinematic event almost sixty years in the making. And for fans of both characters, getting to see them clash in the 21st century is a dream come true. It has action on a scale that only a film about Kaiju could bring, the fights give both combatants a chance to show off their strengths, and the ending makes it clear which of them is the top dog. Yeah, we still have to deal with the human plotlines in between everything and how stupid the bad guy’s justification can be. But at the end of it all, it’s still worth having to sit through the muck in order to get to what we all want to see: giant monster fights. I’m probably going to go watch this movie again on the big screen sometime.
I Give “Godzilla vs Kong” a 4/5
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