Godzilla vs. Kong Movie Review: Calling it a big, dumb monster movie is a huge compliment

Godzilla vs. Kong is the ridiculously stupid, mind-melting monster action movie we've been waiting for.

People often said that you don't go into these kinds of movies for a deep, enriching experience. And for once, they're right. Godzilla vs. Kong throws away any semblance of coherent story to get Godzilla and Kong to fight sooner. Because apparently there's a hitherto unmentioned "Hollow Earth" at the center of our world brimming with a mysterious energy source, and a company called Apex owned by Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir planting his foot squarely on mustache-twirling bad guy territory) wants to download it (yes, really) for obviously nefarious ends.

Oh and they need Kong to lead them there because of..."genetic memory?" Which is a thing, I guess. But the only way to get Kong to its entrance in Antarctica is to bring him there, which unfortunately is a bad idea because it will force him to cross paths with Godzilla, who is out there wanting to assert his dominance as the apex Titan, and he's not keen on other homeboys trespassing on his schtick. And of course, that's when the punching starts.

It's good then that most of the human moments in the movie feel insignificant, like they were a vehicle to move the plot along when two titanic animals obviously can't. Aside from Kaylee Hottle as Jia, a cute deaf girl and Kong's ASL confidante, there's not a human in here I care about. The subplot involving Millie Bobby Brown's Madison and the conspiracy theorist (Brian Tyree Henry) and their plan to expose Apex as the evil corporation it obviously is (their headquarters is a literal monumental pyramid in the middle of Hong Kong like a fucking Final Fantasy villain) could have been completely cut out and it would not have changed a thing.

Because all the plot points leading up to the fight are more like the cute little appetizers getting you ready for this mind-numbing buffet of monster mayhem. Sure, you'd like to taste the canapé, but you came here for the eat-all-you-can garlic butter lobster, dammit.

And the main course: Godzilla and Kong beating the crap out of each other. A LOT.

Every time The King of Monsters and The King of Skull Island face off in this movie is a treat and assault to the senses. The violence is brutal, the pace relentless. Director Adam Wingard thankfully frames the action with the Titans front and center, giving us a great view of each fight without cutting to boring distracting humans. Skyscrapers crumble under their massive frames. A single punch slows time to a crawl as if the weight of the whole world was in each one. Kong smacks Godzilla around with a fucking magic axe (yes, really). It's like a 9-year-old's fever dream, and I wish I saw this in a theater instead of in my living room, because all of this deserves to be seen on the big screen.

And just when you think the fight is over, a special guest (I won't mention who!) makes this a Triple Threat match ala Batman v Superman, and I'm glad Wingard and co. thinks it's okay to stuff our faces with even more monster action. Because it totally is.

Even the science fiction mumbo-jumbo that weighed it down wasn't enough to stop this movie from reaching the heights I didn't expect it to reach. Oftentimes stupid, a lot of times silly, but filled with plenty of giant monster action, Godzilla vs. Kong is nothing short of a monsterpiece.

Godzilla vs. Kong is now available on HBO Max.

Post a Comment