The much-anticipated clash between the two kaijus of the unofficially-titled ‘MonsterVerse’ is finally upon us and we can fairly say it’s been worth the wait.
Directed by Adam Wingard (‘You’re Next’, ‘Death Note’, the upcoming ‘Face/Off’ sequel), ‘Godzilla vs Kong’ is a sequel to ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ (2019), ‘Kong: Skull Island’ (2017) and ‘Godzilla’ (2014), and is the first time the two characters are coming face-to-face in decades, and in true fashion, the meeting is high on action, spectacle and emotion. But don’t go looking for a serviceable plot, or you’ll come away disappointed.
The movie begins with a trip back to Skull Island where we meet an idyllic Kong growing increasingly discontent with his artificial containment field. We’re also introduced to a young, hearing-and-speech impaired orphan, Jia (Kaylee Hottle), with whom he shares a special bond. This bond is the quiet, beating heart of the movie and we’re hoping to see the duo in action in future instalments, if any. The two of them, along with Kong’s human protectors, have to make a journey to Kong’s original home, but the path is rife with danger.
In another part of the world, after being missing-in-action for three years, Godzilla re-emerges from his watery abode to lay to waste a massive facility of Apex Tech, a shadowy organisation obviously up to no good, under the leadership of one Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir).
Now the two titans are set on a path to meet, presumably after centuries, re-igniting an ancient rivalry, and this is where you get to strap on your seat belts and settle in for a heck of a ride.
The giant brawls in ‘Godzilla vs Kong’ are exactly what you’d expect from a movie of this size, and then some. And director Wingard not only manages to pull off jaw-dropping action sequences, but manages to inject them with gut-wrenching emotion, so you’re definitely rooting for these big guys through and through.
Of course, the 113-minute run time is not all brawls and bones. Unfortunately for everyone involved, humans make up for a fair share of the movie and it more often than not just brings the film to a screeching halt. The ensemble cast includes heavyweights like Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), Millie Bobby Brown
(Stranger Things), Julian Dennison (Deadpool 2), Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), as well as Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver). But no amount of acting greatness can rise above a flimsy plot.
However, we can safely say Godzilla vs Kong greatly improves upon the narrative mess that was ‘Godzilla: king of the Monsters’, and is also easily the best of the ‘MonsterVerse’ movies. The comedy, from Brown, Dennison and Henry, brings some much-needed levity to the film. Henry, especially, as the conspiracy theorist podcaster is a riot to watch. Skarsgard and Hall are both, as always, great in their respective roles and share good chemistry.
The monsters are, of course, the heart and soul of the film, and if we had to pick, we’d say Kong got some of the best moments in the film and we really get to see more of the character’s deeper lore.
One of the last hiccups of the movie is that the ending felt altogether abrupt and anti-climactic. The credits begin to roll before you’ve even had a moment to process the epic scope of an unimaginable fight between your favourite chonky bois and one comes away feeling a tad robbed.
All in all, ‘Godzilla vs Kong’ is a worthy choice to pick if you, like me, have been debating the pros and cons of heading back to the cinemas for some time now. And if you do decide to go, pick the biggest screen you can find.
Don’t miss it!
‘Godzilla vs Kong’ is now showing in UAE cinemas.