Godzilla vs. Kong follows in the footsteps of Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, with both titans set to square off for alpha species supremacy, but a secret organization's plans may spoil the match.
Godzilla vs. Kong Review
Let's be honest...We know what we're getting ourselves into with Godzilla vs. Kong. We are just here for destruction and mayhem at the hands of the two most iconic monsters in cinema history. So should we be disappointed when the plot is less-than interesting? No, of course not. I fully expected the film to waste the acting chops of its cast (a particular mention to wasting the on-screen charisma of Brian Tyree Henry), but I didn't expect it to find a way to go beyond the unbelievability of two giant monsters fighting each other for the crown of alpha species of Earth and make the film so downright ridiculous.
Normally I don't mind spoilers in a movie like this. (While it's unlikely that you've managed to avoid spoilers for this movie, I won't spoil it here.) Knowing that a particular titan from Godzilla lore was going to make an appearance is all fine with me, but I didn't enjoy how much of the film was devoted to keeping it a mystery. This isn't the type of film--nor does it boast the kind of writing clout--to carry a mystery with any level of intrigue or atmosphere. And that doesn't happen here. It felt more like script filler than actual plot structure, and frankly, it was annoying. The movie simply didn't have to be 2 hours, and this is just one of two major culprits.
As has been the complaint from the first two Godzilla movies in this particular branch of the franchise, there is too much commitment to characters that don't have the backing of a solid script by which to work. The actors aren't the problem. We can find plenty of good work in the filmographies of Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers, Old Boy, Silent House), Brian Tyree Henry (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Child's Play, Joker), Alexander Skarsgard (Mute, Hold the Dark), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Bloodline, Game Night), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers, Kick-Ass, Nocturnal Animals)...But the script all of these wonderful actors have to work with is abysmal, and they seem to be getting worse with every outing as the action set pieces try to get bigger.
But these are all complaints I can reasonably expect and even ignore. Did the film inevitably deliver on the goods that we came to see? Mostly yes. The first half hour is a bit of a drag...we're clearly all squirming in our seats waiting for the establishment of characters to take place and for the script to lay out the reasonings for the eventual titanic duel. Except, we already have that reason...There can't be two alpha titans, so they have to seek each other out. So do we really need to dive more into the hollow Earth nonsense? This movie wasn't shooting for believability anyways, but rather than have the beasts go at it for obvious reasons, we need to build more sympathetic subplot for Kong and over-saturate the origins of our spoiler than is necessary, leading us down a rabbit hole that feels like an excuse to bloat the runtime and give us a few extra shots of half-assed creature designs at the expense of plot-holes, pacing issues, and wasted household names.
Yet still...despite this massive rant for how truly awful the writing and directing are...it is still entertaining to watch in spurts. I mean, Godzilla and Kong do eventually start roughhousing all over the place and it's pretty great for the most part. The first two battles (one upon a carrier and the other in Hong Kong) are beautifully displayed (if sometimes trite) with all the monster chaos one could want. I genuinely enjoyed these moments, and they are grandiose enough to appreciate the massive scale of getting to see these two classic monsters battle it out with effects that give them justice.
It did seem like Godzilla (2014) genuinely tried to build something special. While it missed the mark (regardless of your goal to build characters and the awe-inspiring sight of Godzilla, the king of the monsters needed more screen time), it feels like the only film in the franchise to even make an attempt. But, we're all here for the spectacle, and the productions have certainly delivered on that. So, prepare to have your eyeballs enthralled and your brain microwaved, but I think you all knew what you were signing up for.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 3/10
Horror Quality: 2/10
Film Quality: 5/10