Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

godzilla vs kong poster 2021 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun, action movie that is more Kong based

Feels long, so-so story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Godzilla vs. Kong

Studio: Legendary Entertainment

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  March 24, 2021 (Hong Kong)/March 31, 2021 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

godzilla vs kong first fight round one ships

Round 1…Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

The Titans battle for dominance of the world has left only Godzilla and King Kong.  With Kong secluded away on Skull Island, Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and her adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle) study the great ape while Godzilla still patrols the sea.  When Godzilla resurfaces to attack Apex Cybernetics in Pensacola, Florida, the concern that Godzilla must be stopped is pushed by CEO Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir).  The key to stopping Godzilla could be Kong and a scientist named Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) who believes the theory of a hollow Earth could explain the resent rise of the Titans.  As Nathan, Ilene, and Jia try to get Kong to the Hollow Earth entrance, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), her friend Josh (Julian Dennison), and conspiracy podcast host Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) question Godzilla’s attack on Apex…and what could be hiding inside.

godzilla vs kong tokyo battle design

Yeah…I’ve got back and I’m not ashamed of my body

Directed by Adam Wingard, Godzilla vs. Kong is an action-adventure kaiju monster movie.  A sequel to both Kong:  Skull Island (2017) and Godzilla:  King of the Monsters (2019), the film premiered on HBO Max and in theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It received moderate to positive reviews.

1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla was a big deal as a kid.  The movie and the battle of two of my favorite characters was always a “must see” if it was airing on TV.  While the times have changed, the movie ideas and concepts remain the same…which is a good thing.

A lot of attention was drawn to the fact that the “human” characters of Godzilla vs. Kong weren’t that interesting…which has always been the case in kaiju movies.  While King Kong was more of a human based story, Godzilla films have almost always been about boring people doing boring stuff until Godzilla shows up and smashes stuff and generally another kaiju.  The story unfolds much of the same way here, but it feels a bit more balanced and driven than some of the old Godzilla movies.  While I generally didn’t care about the humans there, I somewhat care about them here (but not completely).  The problem with that is that it makes the movie feel longer than it is…and that there could have been some trimming.

godzilla vs kong tokyo battle kaiju

God…what have you been eating, ‘Zilla?

The cast is quite good (another thing that feels a bit of a letdown by the so-so human story).  The movie feels largely Kong based so the Alexander Skarsgård-Rebecca Hall characters feel a bit more central to the plot.  Millie Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, and Julian Dennison feel a bit forced in and this is especially the case since Godzilla doesn’t have a real tie to Godzilla who doesn’t know them like Kong knows his human “friends”.  Demián Bichir is a pretty generic corporate villain and both Eiza González as his daughter and Shun Oguri as the son of Ken Watanabe’s character barely even have any development.  The movie also squanders Kyle Chandler and Lance Reddick in small roles.  The fun addition to the cast is the young Kaylee Hottle who brings a lot of dimension and heart to the young girl who Kong protects.

godzilla vs kong mechagodzilla

It’s time to Mecha!

The movie also looks pretty good.  The tech of having giant-monsters fight has progressed since 1962 and the battles involve a lot of hitting, punching, and property damage that the world probably could never recover from.  The big addition to the movie is the arrival of another fan favorite Mechagodzilla who unfortunately is underused, but does add the necessary spark to force the obligatory team-up between Kong and Godzilla.

Godzilla vs. Kong is what it is.  It’s a big, loud, action movie involving giant apes hitting giant lizards…but that is what you expect.  The movie provides a lot of this big brawling, and in that sense, it was more than I hoped for (movies like this often can disappoint).  I just wish some of the time had been cut down (like shortening that trip to Hollow-Earth and the “energy source” that didn’t add much to the story).  I will not see it over-and-over again like the original Kong vs. Godzilla match-up, but I probably will revisit it at some point…I just can’t give up on Kong or Godzilla.  Long live the Kings!

Related Links:

Godzilla (2014)

Kong:  Skull Island (2017)

Godzilla:  King of the Monsters (2019)

King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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