I mean imagine it. Godzilla and his fiery breath fighting off a giant thong in Hong Kong. The undies could snap Godzilla in the face. Try and cover his giant schnoz. Either way, it would have been more interesting than the video game with human cut scenes I just watched called Godzilla vs. Kong.
Don’t get me wrong, director Adam Wingard’s film is superbly entertaining — that is when the two titans are punching the daylights out of each other. But when we cut away to the humans featuring Rebecca Hall, Kaylee Hottle, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Alexander Skarsgård, Eiza González, Demián Bichir and Bryan Tyree Hall, we are bored to tears having to watch them utter the banal exposition and lame jokes written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I look forward to these films, but it is time studios (looking at you Paramount and Transformers) gave the audience decent human beings whom we care about if we are to going to be forced to watch something other than two giants clocking each other in the face.
The plot of the film squarely positions Kong as the protagonist. After the events of Kong: Skull Island (still the best of the Monsterverse), the giant ape is now an unhappy resident of protective bio-dome on Skull Island. I am so curious how they got him in there, but whatever. Making sense is something you have to check at your bedroom or family room door when you’re watching this on HBO Max.
The only joy Kong has is communicating with Jia (Kaylee Hottle), who’s the adopted daughter of “Kong Whisperer” Dr. Ilene Andrews (Hall). She is a Skull Island native whom Kong saved from death and loves. Awwww.
I’m not sure why, but with Godzilla on the loose again, the King must be hidden away because the lizard will pull a Batman (yes I got a Batman v. Superman reference) and kill him. I just want to see Kong growl, “Do you bleed?”
Through the elongated exposition we get, we discover that Kong and ‘Zilla are legit ancient rivals and will fight to the death. Yeah!
After the lizard goes on a surprise rampage at Apex Cybernetics in Hong Kong, the company’s CEO Walter Simmons (Bichir) to recruit Dr. Nathan Lind (Skarsgård) to travel to the Hollow Earth (is that beyond Middle Earth?), in order to retrieve Godzilla’s energy source, which can then be used against him. Or is it a her? My roommate consistently wonders if Godzilla is female.
To find Middle-sorry Hollow Earth, they need Kong as a guide. So they remove him from Skull Island, chain him to an aircraft carrier — I suppose those are better accommodations than the passengers on the Diamond Princess – and Godzilla sniffs him on the move.
This leads to a GvK BOOM-BAM-BOOM-BAM-THUD smackdown. And it is one helluva fight at sea. Then on land. Then off to neon-lit Hong Kong. Shouldn’t it have been called Kong of Hong or King Kong goes to Hong Kong. Or just Hong Kong?
Wingard delivers fight scenes between the two behemoths that are far superior to most Tranformer films. And that is not because we can actually differentiate between the fighters in Godzilla vs. Kong. No, the fights are truly spectacular in their utter love for catastrophe, not giving a sh*t about human life or buildings.
It’s a great looking, awe-inspiring film that truly possesses some jaw-dropping moments. This is a film to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Wingard’s fights are on the money and never ever let us down.
You want to see a giant monkey take on a giant lizard you have come to the right place, friend.
Where the film really lets us down is when we focus on the group of boring, non-essential humans we have to cut away to for plot and budget.
Once upon at time, there were monster films like Jurassic Park, Alien, Super 8, heck even Bumble Bee where the humans mattered. They were just there to deliver exposition and bad jokes. They were actually integrated into the plot and it made sense.
These days, that is what we get – meaningless, forgettable humans blathering on about ridiculous conspiracy theories and and implausible reasons to create Mecha-Godzilla, which by the way is fairly badass.
It wouldn’t bother me so much, but we are forced to spend 40 minutes or so with them before the first fight. And then we spend another 45 before the next. The talented actors in this film deserve better. We the audience deserve better – especially when so much of the action revolves around them.
People should not be a chore to watch. It’s bad when cgi Kong, Godzilla and even Mecha-Godzilla deliver more emotion than the actors.
But the film is saved by the thoughtless destruction and action. I just wish I had a XBox controller to play along. Or a thong.
Rating: Three Ball Point Pens out of Five. So says The Geek.
The Geek is a working screenwriter, director and screenwriting instructor.