Wednesday, October 27, 2021

‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ review: action-packed monster fun

April 1, 2021
<p>GODZILLA battles KONG in Warner Bros. Pictures™ and Legendary Pictures™ action adventure “GODZILLA VS. KONG,“ a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures release.</p>

GODZILLA battles KONG in Warner Bros. Pictures™ and Legendary Pictures™ action adventure “GODZILLA VS. KONG,“ a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures release.

Forget Team Edward or Team Jacob — the question that should be on everyone’s minds is whether you’re Team Godzilla or Team Kong. 

The two monsters go head to head in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Godzilla vs. Kong,” directed by Adam Wingard. The movie serves as the fourth film in the MonsterVerse, and it’s the first one that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. 

Wingard’s other directorial credits include horror films “You’re Next” and “V/H/S,” but this movie surprisingly avoids the horror genre (while I would definitely jump at certain points if I had IMAX 3D glasses on).

Which brings me to the point that “Godzilla vs. Kong” must absolutely be seen in a theater. It is the perfect embodiment of what makes a good blockbuster, and it’s certainly the first movie made for theaters to be released since the COVID-19 pandemic. The visual and special effects and the fighting sequences between the two titans are pretty epic, and these characters were made for the big screen.

The plot of the movie is pretty self-explanatory from the title — Godzilla and King Kong are two ancient enemies who are pitted against one another in an epic brawl, and the trailer boasts that “one will fall.” 

The first scene of the film reveals that Kong is on Skull Island and is being watched by scientists and linguists, one of them being Dr. Ilene Andrews, portrayed by Rebecca Hall. Andrews’ adopted, deaf Iwi daughter Jia is the only person who can communicate with Kong (through ASL), and their special bond is one of the most endearing and heartwarming aspects of the plot. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between this little girl and huge monkey. It was special.

However, when Godzilla attacks an Apex Cybernetics facility seemingly unprovoked, things start to fall into disarray. 

I think the cast is on point. I’m a fan of the two leads, Hall and Alexander Skarsgård, and they do as much with their characters as their roles allow. 

This is the first work I’ve seen Millie Bobby Brown in (I have successfully never seen an episode of “Stranger Things”), and I was honestly impressed by her performance. She plays Madison Russell, a listener of the conspiracy podcast Titan Truth Podcast. She joins Bernie Hayes, the creator of TTP, in exposing Apex Cybernetics, a corporation that has — spoiler alert — created a monster that threatens both Godzilla and Kong.

What this film excels at is creating an emotional bond between the viewer and the monsters. I felt connected to Kong and Godzilla — more so to them than any of the human characters. The humans seemed almost one-dimensional against the complexities in the monsters. 

Now, as for the question as to whose side I’m on: without giving any spoilers, I am indisputably Team Kong. I went into watching it being Team Kong (I like monkeys more than lizards), and I stayed on that side throughout the near two-hour runtime. I love Godzilla, too, though, so you really can’t go wrong either way. 

“Godzilla vs. Kong” is in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max. 

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