What happens when two titans collide? Well, we saw the answer to that in 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters when FOUR titans went toe to toe and basically caused an in-universe apocalypse. So I suppose that the better question that this year’s Godzilla vs Kong proposes is “What happens when two cinematic icons collide”?
Directed by Adam Wingard, Godzilla vs Kong picks up after the 2019 Godzilla sequel and even follows the character of Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) again in the “Godzilla” storyline. Running parallel to her story is a “Kong” storyline spearheaded by Dr. Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and the young Skull Island native Jia (Kaylee Hottle). The movie does an admirable job balancing these entirely two parallel storylines — and to a certain degree they almost feel like entirely different films! The “Godzilla” story felt like a natural (and more fun) extension of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and the “Kong” storyline felt like an absolute wild sci-fi journey into the unknown.
But you’re not here for the human story are you? Yeah, neither am I. But what’s there is actually surprisingly competent and fun. You’re here because you want to know if this movie delivers the payoff that you would hope to see from a film titled Godzilla vs Kong. The short answer? Absolutely, and then some. It’s hard to fully dive in without spoiling the movie’s biggest surprise but suffice to say that Wingard delivers one of the hardest hitting Kaiju movies of the modern era. Absolutely drenched in neon and twisted visions of Mother Nature if she decides to try some of her own mushrooms. The film also features a third act twist that absolutely floored me and is quite a huge treat if you watch the film with no knowledge of it.
Godzilla vs Kong is a briskly paced film, to the point where when its less than two hour runtime (?!) runs out and you’ll be left wanting more — this is absolutely not a bad thing at all but telling of its strength as a modern blockbuster. Though not a reinvention of the summer blockbuster, Godzilla vs Kong is the apex of it. It weaves two interesting stories that does its titular characters justice and delivers all the Kaiju action you could want from it.
It succeeds where 2014’s Godzilla failed by having likable humans, succeeds where Godzilla: King of the Monsters failed by not being a slog of a film and having improved storytelling, and it succeeds where Kong: Skull Island failed by actually making audiences care about Kong. It truly is the culmination of WB’s MonsterVerse. With no further movies currently planned, if this is truly the end point of the series, then it’s safe to say this series goes out on a Kaiju-sized high point.
Godzilla Vs. Kong is available on VOD now. It is currently screening in US cinemas where COVID restrictions have been lifted and is planning a theatrical release in the UK in late May when cinemas reopen
by Reyna Cervantes