I’m gonna start by pointing out the obvious; this movie is incredibly dumb. But if you went into a movie about a giant gorilla fighting a giant radioactive lizard expecting Citizen Kane and you came out of this disappointed, that’s on you my friend.
But, much like in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, they do try and build up some human characters in this. They throw a lot of human characters at the wall, hoping at least a couple will stick. I think, and I’m being generous here, that ONE human character was good. Well, kinda two but one is just a lesser version of the other. I’m talking about the characters played by Bryan Tyree Henry (he is the one who is actually good), who plays a conspiracy theorist that believes the company he works for are up to no good. Then there is Kiwi boy Julian Dennison. He isn’t a conspiracy theorist character but why I said he is a lesser version of the other is because they’re both comedic relief characters, but Bryan Tyree Henry is given more to do. Plus they share the majority of their scenes together which makes Dennison’s character even less relevant. In all honesty though, all of the other human characters could’ve been eaten by Godzilla or Kong, and I would not have cared one little bit.
The story is basically done in two arcs (Kong’s arc and Godzilla’s arc) and they eventually meet (obviously) then split up before one final showdown. Kong’s arc was focused around finding a mythical place known as Hollow Earth, for reasons. This is where we find scientists, played by Alexander Skarsgard (who I am convinced is just not a good actor. Prove me wrong), as well as Rebecca Hall. Eiza Gonzalez also appears as some kind of mercenary and the daughter of the CEO of Apex Industries. I wasn’t lying when I said there were a ton of human characters. I think this arc did a really good job in humanising Kong, which is lucky because the only likable human on this entire side is a mute child. The rest of the humans are pretty despicable. But this arc features some great cinematography and the story has a lot of heart, but also, so many damn plot-holes.
Godzilla’s arc is basically about the fact that he came from nowhere and started attacking places again and now people think he isn’t such a hero anymore, except for Millie Bobby Brown, who was in the last film. She teams up with Bryan Tyree Henry’s conspiracy theory podcaster, as well as Julian Dennison to find out why seeing as no adults seem to care. In fact, Kyle Chandler, who plays the father of Millie Bobby Brown, doesn’t even seem to care where his daughter is, despite her being in literally another country at one point. To be frank, this arc was not very good because it hardly featured Godzilla and, apart from a few laughs thanks to Bryan Tyree Henry, and one cool reveal that I won’t spoil, there was hardly anything of interest happening here.
But let’s be real here; we aren’t watching this for the story, right? We’re watching this to see two giant monsters throw hands, or paws, or claws, whatever they have, we wanna see them throw them. And that they do! The third act is pretty much one giant fight scene and it is so awesome, it literally made me sit on the edge of my seat with a giant grin on my face. While they made Hong Kong look like some weird disco-themed, neon-loving country, it still provided some fantastic backdrops for the wonderful spectacle that is two beasts fighting. The great CGI and cinematography is supported by a pretty solid score from Junkie XL that can easily be lost in the shuffle, what with all the giant beast fights.
To sum up here, don’t go into this expecting a coherent story, or great, deep human characters. Go into it with your brain turned off, excited for two massive beasts to fight. If that sounds like something you’d like, and you do what I just suggested, then I think you’ll have a great time. Hell, it might even surprise you with some sneaky emotional scenes. But this is just big, dumb fun, and I think that’s cool.
Godzilla vs Kong is currently showing in cinemas in New Zealand.