The Dark Herald Recommends Kong Vs GodzillaThe Dark Herald
This movie is dumb.
Let’s start with that upfront. This movie is as dumb as box of snake-mittens, dumb as crate of glass-hammers, as dumb as a Biden press conference.
This movie is that dumb.
That said, it’s also a lot of fun. If you are the audience for this film then you already know it. Nobody who wants to see this film should have any illusions about what you are in for, and it is giant monsters beating the hell out of each other. That’s only the reason anyone would want to see this movie and that is what you will get if you watch it.
I could pretty much end my review there but I’ll give you a little more than that
Of the four Legendary Kaiju films, this is easily the best. And that is because they finally adopted Toho’s old formula of just have giant monsters pound one another as the A-Story and provide some kind of science fiction-based plot for the B-story. It is not a good movie, it’s just satisfying for its primary audience That is all anybody could want from one of these and it took a while for Legendary Films to deliver one.
The Bryan Cranston Godzilla movie had almost no Bryan Cranston or Godzilla in it. In Kong Skull Island, the series found its footing which was melodrama interspersed with monster fight scenes.
However, there was a stumble with Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The human side plot was just weird, illogical, and incoherent. Basically, eco-terrorists were portrayed as the good guys unless they aren’t, but both sides are using kaiju to wipe out civilization so the Earth can heal. It is for the good of all… Unless it isn’t. The story was that well thought out.
On to this movie.
There is not a lot to spoil. All the leaks were accurate.
Godzilla who had been the friend of mankind (just roll with it), suddenly attacks a city in order to get to the facility owned by a company named Apex. People are suddenly worried about him again, (don’t ask me why they ever stopped).
The guy who owns Apex comes up with a brilliant idea to fight Godzilla. Take King Kong to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Hollow Earth. Yeah, I didn’t quite get why taking Kong to Pellucidar was going to accomplish anything. But we need to get there so the movie can happen.
The billionaire’s view was that Kong would automatically lose a fight with Godzilla unless they can get Kong a MacGuffin from Hollow-Earth. I have been in situations where we went with quite literally the first plan anyone could think of and it looks just like this. Except without the giant lizards and monkeys…usually.
Kong is now the star of the Truman Show because Skull Island was destroyed by a gigantic storm leaving himself and a deaf native girl as the only survivors. They communicate via sign language.
After some pro-forma protesting Kong’s handlers agree to let him be transported to the “Symmes Hole” in Antarctica.
There is a pretty decent fight with Godzilla along the way.
Kong goes down to Center-Earth and his handlers follow him.
I think I need to stress that this isn’t the classic American King Kong, this is more like Toho’s Kong. If brainpower is determined by brain-size then Kong is one of the smarter guys on the planet.
They find the remains of a Kong stone age civilization in Pellucidar.
Anyway, the billionaire is actually an evil billionaire because he’s an anti-eco-terrorist and wants the MacGuffinonium to power his own MechaGodzilla. He wants humans to be in charge of the Earth again instead of Godzilla. I’m not sure why this made him the bad guy.
Kong comes back from down-under, then he and Godzilla duke it out. I was surprised didn’t have the two of them fighting to a draw before teaming up on MechaGodzilla. They actually have a clear winner in the Kong Vs Godzilla matchup.
The science is dumb and hokey but that is an expected part of a Kaiju movie.
The action is as big and as loud as the stars of this film and that is all that anyone who wants to see this film wants out of it. You get to see the monsters in loving detail. And you get see them smash shit.
Godzilla is in this movie a lot less than Kong. Kong is the real star of this film but that’s okay, you can anthropomorphize a monkey a lot more easily than you can a lizard, (it’s in the word anthropomorphize). The film gave Kong a clear sense of pathos and sympathy. He’s the good monster.
The worst part of his movie was Millie Bobbie Brown’s subplot. It did absolutely nothing to advance the plot. You could literally have cut out all of her sequences and it wouldn’t have affected the movie other than to give it a sleeker run time. I think Hollywood has convinced itself that she is a bigger draw than she really is.
And those pointless time-devouring sequences are the only reason I’m giving this film a lower rating than I otherwise would. Because of Millie Bobbie Brown, it goes on a lot longer than it should.
The Dark Herald Recommends with (Hesitant) Reservations.