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godzilla vs. kong

★★★

director: adam wingard (deathnote)

starring: alexander skarsgard, millie bobby brown, rebecca hall and brian tyree henry

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another - the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong - with humanity caught in the balance.

At a wedding recently during the reception dinner the subject of movies came up. Everyone, apart from me obviously, said that they hadn’t been to the movies since Covid. Which is a real pity because there have been some brilliant films gracing our silver screens for the last year. But if a CGI spectacle like Godzilla vs. Kong doesn’t get you to the biggest screen you can find, I don’t know what will. While it lacks a real emotional hook, Godzilla vs. Kong is a full blown CGI feast for the senses that demands to be seen on the biggest screen you can find, filled with the feral fury of two of the greatest cinematic monsters going toe to gigantic toe. 

 

Legends collide in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.

 

One of my critiques of the recent Kong/Godzilla franchise is its serious tone for its subject and genre and the difference between the audience's emotional connection with human characters versus the creatures. As in the previous films, Godzilla vs. Kong seems a little dark in tone for a fun, summer action blockbuster. The human characters are just a little bland as well and they don’t illicit that much of a connection or care for in their exposition.

 

That being said this film is one thing and one thing only: a big, bombastic furious CGI battle between the two titans (pardon the pun) of cinema. Here we find the truly humanlike moments to be found in the film with parts of the fight looking and feeling like a punch up in a pub car park. The big battles between Kong and Godzilla are more impressive and coherent than the previous installments, with some truly beautiful cinematography as the two giants crash and smash in the depths of the Tasman Sea and bathed in the the magnificent lights of Hong Kong. 

 

The trip to Hollow Earth is also a wonder to behold with a fully realized world reminiscent of fantasy adventure films of the 60’s and 70’s like One Million Years B.C. and The Land That Time Forgot except with the aid of modern, photo real landscapes and creatures. 

 

While it lacks a real emotional hook, Godzilla vs. Kong is a full blown CGI feast for the senses that demands to be seen on the biggest screen you can find, filled with the feral fury of two of the greatest cinematic monsters going toe to gigantic toe.

★★★