The MonsterVerse had been building steam ever since Gareth Edward's Godzilla and Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Skull Island. The two movies were both solid introductions to these titans, and Skull Island definitely seemed to indicate the two would inevitably fight. That's not even taking into consideration that the idea has been around since 1962 Toho Studios created the first Kong versus Godzilla. Ultimately this is what they've been building up to and they had to stick the landing in order to continue to cash in on their giant assets, and largely it delivers in it's promise to viewers of a massive fight but in other aspects the film is a disappointment. Granted, it is difficult to tell a story that is centered so heavily around the spectacle of two larger then life beings fighting one another, but it requires a even more delicate touch to make us care about what is happening on screen. Ever since Toho Studios first made these films back in the sixties, they always had humans delivering exposition and or showing mankind making a muck of the situation, but it's always the weakest points of the film. The same applies here as it is a increasingly difficult balance to maintain.
The plot largely follows in the aftermath of an enraged Godzilla attacking across the globe with the focus seemingly on Apex Cybernetics. In response to the attacks, Apex CEO Walter Simmons (Demien Bichir) decides to recruit a burn out scientist Nathan Lind (Alexander Skaarsgard), a Hollow Earth theorist, to guide a search for a power source that would allow them the ability to fight back against the titan. Nathan suggests to get the help of an old friend that works alongside King Kong in order to allow them safe passage through to Hollow Earth as he'd be attracted to the idea of going back home. Meanwhile, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) finds a conspiracy theorist podcast that explains the Godzilla attacks were actually provoked as Apex is hiding a nefarious truth. She refuses to believe that Godzilla has turned to an enemy as she was saved by him before and looks to clear his name and expose Apex before it is too late.
After initially watching the film, I couldn't escape the thought that it was much like another film from Warner Bros. Pictures named Batman v Superman. It is hard to ignore the parallels as we see two colossal titans do battle with one another only to quickly realize the two are not each others enemies, instead they are being forced to fight one another by a nefarious organization/agenda that seeks to create something much worse. Beyond that, the film does deliver on the promise of seeing these two legendary titans fight against one another as the fight scenes are rather impressive. The bigger issue comes down to the smaller events featuring Nathan Lind and his group of scientist friends or Madison's attempts to uncover Apex secrets. Madison's covert mission seemed to just undermine Apex security at every turn, and Nathan's probing of Kong continued to show how inept mankind is in dealing with titans. The humans presented in the film rarely seemed to operate with any kind of intelligence and even worse the logic behind the film seemed to fail at every turn. We are told repeatedly that the gravity is so fierce in Hollow Earth, but yet it is completely safe for humans to walk around without any kind of protection there. There were other lapses in creative decisions here but it would create a huge laundry list of issues.
The film's biggest success is again it's titular characters, especially when in action. Godzilla, however, is largely presented as a major threat and Kong, on the other hand, is oddly the heart of the film. His relationship with the young Jia, who he learns sign language from, allows us to care more for the giant gorilla. It's also hard not to care for a displaced being that just yearns to go home, and where the film succeeds the most is in the Hollow Earth sequence. The visuals were absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous and a true highlight of the entire film. I would certainly hope that was not the last time we see Hollow Earth as future films in this universe could have a gold mine of potential with it as we see Kong reigning supreme over his home land. Aside from the film's issues, and even disjointed pacing, it was enjoyable as the viewers were treated to what they signed up for. In a land of covid, it is becoming increasingly difficult to come across films that make us excited and largely this film will generate just that.