Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
This is a spoiler review. Come on, it’s giant monsters fighting each other, y’all really don’t care about plot and writing, do you?
Growing up in a certain era with late night Creature Features on the weekends, monster movies, especially Godzilla movies were a mainstay of my childhood. Watching the old 60s films were fun and fed a childhood glee of just watching giant monster wreck cities and each other other. And in an age of a world pandemic, Godzilla Vs Kong was not only a heaping dose of nostalgia, it may have defibrillated the theater industry.
There is a basic plot that is just there as an excuse to go from one monstrous action sequence to another. Kong, decades after the events of Skull Island is in a biodome with a holographic dome to simulate a natural sky. He’s just too smart to be fooled by it. He has a bond with a mute little girl who is the only survivor of of the island tribe seen in Kong of Skull Island.
Meanwhile, Godzilla has attacked an Apex cybernetics facility for no reason. Well, there are, but that is revealed later. Monarch which is the super not-secret organization studying the Titans does not know the reason. Madison (once again played by Millie Bobby Brown), the young character from King of the Monsters, has a suspicion that Apex is hiding something from the public. She gets her information from listening to a conspiracy podcaster (Brian Tyree Henry) who claims to be on the inside of Apex. In the light of the whole Q’Anon phenomenon, this comes across as more silly than it was meant to be. But hey, this was supposed to come out a year ago, then Covid happened. She decides to track down this mysterious podcaster with a friend (Julian Dennison) in tow who really serves no purpose other than to panic a lot.
And amidst this, Apex and Monarch seemingly have a plan to relocate Kong to the natural habitat of his ancestors, the Hollow Earth. Yeah, science is pretty much out the window in this series. But as they are transporting Kong on a giant cargo ship. Godzilla senses the presence of another Alpha Titan, you know, sorta like in Highlander. So Godzilla attacks, they fight. And it as a spectacular protracted fight that destroys almost an entire fleet of ships. And honestly, cannons against Godzilla never works but stupid humans will do stupid things.
It soon becomes apparent which humans we should care about. Certainly not the daughter of Apex CEO who just wanted to dump Ong in the water and bug out. She didn’t even want to stick around for the fight. Plus she is overly arrogant and has a secret agenda as corporate CEO daughters are want to do in the genre. When she and the gang make it inside the hollow earth area, her agenda becomes apparently. It being clear is another thing. as it makes no sense.
Meanwhile, Madison and her own Scooby Gang break into the wrecked Apex facility way more easier than is possible and end up on an underground high speed travelling, I don’t know what to call it, thingy that takes them all the way from Florida to Hong Kong. And when they get there, they discover Apex’s big secret, which really isn’t that much of a secret if you’ve been following the movie. All right, it’s a Mecha-Godzilla. It’s somehow hooked up to the decapitated heads of Ghidorah (Kevin) from King of the Monsters. And it’s “pilot” is named Ren Serizawa who is supposedly the son of Professor Serizawa from the last two movies. Yeah, whatever.
In the hollow earth, Kong is having a blast destroying other monsters that get in his way, and he eventually finds himself in a throne room, where he gets to make himself at home. It turns out that all along, Apex wanted to access the hollow earth to get some kind of energy source to power up Mecha-Godzilla for the purpose of destroying Godzilla.
Godzilla makes his way to Hong Kong. There can be only one, after all. While there he senses Kong and the energy. So get this, he uses his atomic breath to drill right into the hollow earth, so Kong climbs up/down to Hong Kong. Big monster fight. Hong Kong undergoes Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel proportions of destruction. Mecha-Godzilla shows up. More monsters fighting.
So it may sound like I’m bashing the film for its silliness, but that silliness serves its purpose to get from one giant set piece to another. Godzilla Vs Kong delivers on the spectacle of giant titans battling it out. And unlike the last two Godzilla films, much of the fights take place during the day or well lit. Hong Kong’s skyline and neon light office building provide the perfect backdrop for the battles.
Whatever plot there is is a paper thin one with science that is beyond dubious. And there are enough plot holes to drive a truck through. Yet, just like the 60s era of Godzilla wilms and childhood nostalgia, I did not care. It was glorious trash on a scale that is the perfect cure for nearly a year of lockdown. It was as if they took the cheesy story and premise of the 60 era films and fed injected the steroids known as modern special effects and big budget into it. The special effects are top-notch with every punch and bite seemingly having some impact to them. Not only that, there is some actual noticeable fight choreography to the action scenes with the surroundings not only serving as backdrops but as weapons as well. Godzilla vs. Kong is due out on home media formats of DVD, Blu-Ray, 3D Blu-Ray (!), and 4k on 6/15/21. Get it in the best format available, which is not streaming, support physical media and crank up the volume.