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"Godzilla vs. Kong" Review

godzilla-vs-kong-review

Godzilla vs. Kong is a 2021 American monster film directed by Adam Wingard and written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein with music from Tom Holkenborg. A sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, it is the fourth film in Legendary's MonsterVerse. It is also the 36th film in the Godzilla franchise, and the 12th film in the King Kong franchise.

The film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick, Kyle Chandler, and Demián Bichir.

Legends collide as Godzilla and Kong, the two most powerful forces of nature, clash on the big screen in a spectacular battle for the ages. As a squadron embarks on a perilous mission into fantastic uncharted terrain, unearthing clues to the Titans' very origins and mankind's survival, a conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.

godzilla-vs-kong-review

The king of the monsters faces off against the king of the jungle. An unrelenting power meets an unbowing force. These two titans meet in a fight for the ages. Does it live up to the hype? At times.

Off the bat I want to say that I'm a much newer fan to these creatures. My first Godzilla film was the 2014 one, which I absolutely loved. My first Kong film was Peter Jackson's 2005 version. So this opinion is not coming from a mega fan that's seen all the films and know the mythos. It's coming from a much newer fan who's simply a fan of the new monsterverse.

With that point being made, overall, this film was a mixed bag for me. There were some high highs, but there were some low lows. To make it clear, this isn't a bad film. It came out during the pandemic, and all I wanted was something that could numb my mind with mindless entertainment. This film did exactly that, but it's one I see myself fast forwarding through to key points if I were to watch it again.

First, the best thing about the film was Godzilla and Kong. Whenever they were on screen, the film was great, and when they were fighting, the film was even better. The CGI was breathtaking. Even with CGI becoming more common, it still absolutely amazes me. The action was great, and watching these two heavyweights going at it reminded me of being a kid and smashing my action figures together. This is exactly what I wanted from this film. The problem is nearly everything else.

These films have become a little notorious with having a human character problem. Skull Island is the one that I think handled it the best. This film had a huge character problem. From the villain to supporting characters everyone felt so generic and worse of all boring.

We have a main band of characters. They're not terrible, but anytime the film focuses on them, it noticeably gets dragged down, especially with the villains. The main villain could've been decent. Without spoilers, his whole motivation makes sense, but the film just skims right over it and instead makes generic. His daughter is even worse considering she has a little to do in the film. If you look up bad guy I'm sure her picture will pop up.

The worst part of the film, however, was Millie Bobby Brown's story. This was one of the most pointless and boring side plots I've seen in some time. It felt like the film needed to be a certain runtime and they realized they still had Millie Bobby Brown under contract so they just added her to fill the gaps. It's funny at times, but for the most part it's completely pointless with the exception of two things. That's even worse considering it was 99% exposition. The problem was that it was either not understandable or didn't add anything to the actual story. It really was a bizarre creative choice.

A good creative choice was the little girl. She was by far the best human character in the film and he relationship with Kong really added some much needed heart. Kong acts as the main character and I loved that choice. He's the Captain America in Civil War, and this is his film. I don't know if it's a compliment or not but he was way more developed as a character than every human character. He had a motivation and a goal, which is more than I can say for anyone else.

Overall, the great was really good, but man was the bad really bad. This film felt like a great heavyweight boxing match with both throwing absolute bombs and coming out looking like legends. But there's an intermission between rounds that feature boring commercials. That's the rest of the film.

You come in for great action and you absolutely get that. The question is how much does the rest of the film drag it down. For me the film is unfortunately held back from being great by a lot of subpar decisions. Three film does way too many things wrong to be considered great, but they clearly do enough to not be bad. I think it really depends on why you are watching the film, but for me I'd personally say it's above average. Great action and monsters, but unfortunately not really excelling at anything else.

godzilla-vs-kong-review

The acting was fine if not a little disappointing. Rebecca Hall is an actress I love. Here she's certainly not bad, but her character really has nothing to do. Overall she's just fine which is the most I can pretty much say about everyone.

Alexander Skarsgård did what he needed. Millie Bobby Brown although I hated her storyline, she wasn't bad and gave a fine performance. She made those segments of the film watchable and had solid chemistry with both Bryan Tyree Henry and Julian Dennison, who also both gave passable performances.

Julian should've excelled in the role, but he didn't. He's great in both Hunt For The Wilderpeople (Highly Recommend) and Deadpool 2, but this film only gives him scraps to work with.

The thing is when you have a film full of great actors and they all give performances far less than that in which they are capable of you have to question the directing and especially the writing. These actors just don't have a ton to work with and it shows.

godzilla-vs-kong-review

The plot actually surprised me in a lot of good ways. It follows Kong on his journey to hallow earth, and it's really cool. The idea itself was interesting, but I'd say the execution was even better.

Without spoilers, but we get to dive into Kong's past and the history of his people. I wished they would've focused more on this. I wish we would've spent more time in hallow earth because it's definitely the coolest part of the film.

The film is pretty much the journey to this place, and the payoff is definitely worth it but you question the actual build up especially considering how little time we actually spend there.

The film had a solid first act and a great third one, but dragged a little during the second. I think there simply wasn't enough story, because that terrible side plot does eat up a decent amount of time.

Plot wise the film is sound, but there are some logical questions. This is coming from a guy who hasn't questioned Fast and The Furious. Here there are just certain things you notice. Godzilla operates in a very clear pattern, and he is considered a savior to these people but they can't put two and two together.

godzilla-vs-kong-review

Overall this film entertained me which is exactly what I wanted it to do. However great action and pure entertainment is unfortunately marred with subpar writing, weak characters, and boring story elements.

Out of the four films in this universe this would have to be number three behind 2014's Godzilla and Skull Island, and above King of The Monsters.

This isn't a bad film, and it's one that you can enjoy just for entertainment. Fantastic action, but you aren't going to get a whole lot more out of this film.

Overall I thought it was fun if not deeply flawed.

© 2021 Royce Proctor Jr

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