Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
"Patience is a virtue."
"You've waited this long, you can wait a little longer."
You're sure to be thinking things like this while watching Godzilla vs Kong, the latest - and possibly last - installment in the MonsterVerse. If you're like me, you want to see the big showdown. I mean, this is Godzilla vs Kong, not Batman vs Superman; you're not expecting this deep, sprawling story, but, that's surprisingly what we get, albeit a choppily edited story.
The film focus on Godzilla, who has alarmed the public because he is attacking people. When we last left Godzilla in King of the Monsters, he seemed to leave humanity in peace and go home. But now, he's attacking unprovoked. As humanity scrambles to understand Godzilla's intentions, a small group of scientists decide it'd be a great idea to move Kong from Skull Island to Hong Kong, where the entrance to the Hollow Earth is. For those unfamiliar with the Hollow Earth Theory, basically it's the idea that there's a world within our world where all the monsters live. If you didn't stay for the credit scene at the end of Kong: Skull Island, you missed this revelation. Anyway, Godzilla of course thinks humans are shipping Kong over to stop him, which pits these two titans against each other. Meanwhile, 33 levels below the Earth's surface, Apex Cybernetics has secretly been developing a weapon, one that potentially could threaten the lives of humans and monsters alike.
I enjoyed the film, I really did. In fact, I'd rate it 2nd place in the line of the MonsterVerse films. But, I have to say I was struggling with the first 20 minutes. It felt like there was a lot of in-between scenes that were cut for either runtime or for the flow of the film. These cuts hurt the film in my eyes, making me wonder at times, "Wait, how'd we get here again?" For instance, Kong goes from being observed on Skull Island to being shipped over by ship. I want to know how they tranquilized him and loaded him onto that ship! The dude's huge. They must have had to hit him with sleeping gas or something. Alas, we don't see what they did. It just jumps to the next scene. Also, even though the Hollow Earth was alluded to at the end of Skull Island, it made me wish that there had been a little extra time spent on explaining that they actually did find it and made the initial discovery instead of making the audience think that they're taking Kong to what they think is the entrance and hoping it's real.
The big brawl itself was outstanding. The effects artists had their work cut out for them this time around and, I have to give them credit, they did an amazing job. It was remarkable how they were able to capture Kong's gentle eyes and Godzilla's arrogant, high-and-mighty grin only to switch their roles and see Godzilla with pleading eyes and Kong with full-on hatred. To be able to see vulnerability in beasts that both see themselves as kings...it's a beautiful thing.
Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison, and Brian Tyree Henry were the human highlights, bringing some much needed humor and humanity to the film. Alexander Skarsgaard was also a joy to see, breaking from his usual "bad boy" roles and landing a funny yet intelligent role. Newcomer Kaylee Hottle was a precious addition as the little girl whom Kong is protective of and communicates with regularly. She made you feel for Kong and made you see him as more than a beast, but a creature with a heart just like us.
In conclusion, Godzilla vs Kong is worth the watch, whether it be in the theaters or on HBOMax. I hope that there will be more MonsterVerse films but if it ends here, at least it's an epic conclusion. I give the film a 3 out of 4.
© 2021 Nathan Jasper