The Perfect Matchup That we Only Dreamed of Brings us Lots of Action, Yet Little Story
by Barrett Lathrop ‘21
I think the one thing to think about when looking at a “versus” movie like this is did it really show a battle worth paying 12 dollars to see on the big screen? The answer for this movie is yes as Godzilla and Kong duking it out on screen with extreme amounts of destruction is worth the price of admission. This movie leaves out any actual story development and goes simply for great amounts of CGI and building smashing that will bring about a great fight between Kong and Godzilla. That was the main issue with the last Godzilla film as we were forced to see long, pointless scenes of human characters that meant absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. With a simple change, Godzilla vs Kong gives us a ridiculous plot to follow that ultimately leads to the two of them fighting in the middle of the ocean thirty minutes into the movies. Yay!
The battle in the ocean would make no sense if you were looking at this logically as the film has us believe that humans have the technology to pick up King Kong and move him on an aircraft carrier to Antarctica. Yeah, I just don’t think that moving King Kong or keeping him chained on a ship is possible but oh well it’s a crazy dumb movie for a reason. Anyway, Godzilla somehow senses him on the ship and finds his way to the fleet as he destroys several ships in the process. Godzilla then wrestles Kong out of the ship as they enter an all-out brawl in the water which leads to them throwing haymakers at each other like Muhamad Ali and Sonny Liston. It was awesome to see them use an actual aircraft carrier as a boxing ring and the CGI used for the two characters was fantastic. But, Godzilla actually retreats as he senses the Mechagodzilla’s presence which I’ll get into later.
The fleet continues on and reaches Antarctica where Kong leads the humans to a place underground that connects the human world with Kong’s world of monsters. This visually gorgeous planet is where the humans follow Kong in these ridiculous ships that can fly by manipulating gravity (all physics just went out the window). Kong makes his way through the planet and kills a few monsters on the way banging his chest to remind everyone that their king has returned. He finally finds his old throne room where there’s a chair to it Kong caboose and greatness as he looks over the humans as subjects and not friends. Then, Kong sees his forgotten ax left in the throne room which he picks up which leads to another session of him banging his chest. He finally is able to sit on his throne as we witness him sitting on the throne from the human’s point of view which gives us an idea of just how daunting Kong is. But, there isn’t much time for Kong to relax as on the surface Godzilla has actually been on a quest of his own.
Throughout the movie, we actually get to see two different journeys that each one of these monsters goes on as Kong has been looking for his old kingdom while Godzilla has been looking for his “twin”. His twin is a creature that has been created by the corporation Apex Cybernetics who have been looking to create a Godzilla Esche machine worthy of taking him down. It’s a very simple plot as I expected there to be a third party in this movie that Godzilla and Kong would have to take down together. The motives of creating a third Godzilla make sense for me so I can buy the fact that this corporation would think it’s a good idea to have a Godzilla they can control. But, Godzilla is able to sense its presence because the way they’re controlling it is through the use of Ghidora’s head which causes the power levels to be unstable when controlled. Apex hopes to use the Hollow Earth energy where Kong’s throne is located to try and harness full control of Mechagodzilla. But, the energy overloads Mechagodzilla’s system as the King Ghidora head takes full control of the fake Gozilla and unleashes hell upon Hong Kong. Buildings are being absolutely obliterated as Kong is below the surface trying to escape his collapsing kingdom due to the rupture of hollow energy below the surface. Godzilla is trying to stop the Mechagodzilla from killing him while be it the city is suffering from their destructive battle. Gozilla is overmatched and can’t seem to stop the quicker and more agile robot version of himself. It seems as if all hope is lost for Gozilla as the burning city is at the knees of Mechagodzilla.
But then, as I predicted Kong emerges from Hollow Earth and joins in on the fun of turning the city into dust as Kong goes full attack mode on Mechagodzilla. What I didn’t like about the movie was how predictable the setup was as I always knew that Godzilla and Kong would team up together, but this felt just too forced. Moving on, the two new “teammates” now fight together to put an end to Mechagodzilla’s rage as Godzilla's nuclear breath and Kong’s new hammer eventually put the mechanized creature to an end. When the fight ends the two of them stare at each other and weirdly look like they give each other a nod of appreciation. For me, the battles were absolutely fantastic and I for one loved the destruction of the city which is what these two monsters are capable of. But, I felt as if the side story of the human characters trying to find answers to the Mechagodzilla was boring and had very little necessary dialogue. And, the use of Mechagodzilla was sort of a swing and miss for me as I felt like having the two monsters team-up was sort of forced and should have ended with one of them dying in the heat of the battle. But, Hollywood knows what makes money, and Kong and Godzilla are two characters that are almost guaranteed to make more than 500 million dollars at the worldwide box office.
The movie ends with a happy ending which felt cheesy to me as Godzilla leaves for the ocean again and Kong moves to Hollow Earth to protect his kingdom. For the next movie which could be in 2-4 years, I can see them using another King Ghidora storyline that would end in the deaths of one of the monsters. They can’t keep Kong and Godzilla forever as it would make sense for one of them to make a sacrifice for the greater good of Earth which could ultimately end the Kong-Godzilla arc. In the end, I thought the movie lived up to the title and for what this movie was I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 or a 4 out of 5.