3 1/2 Stars Movies

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Truth be told, my knowledge of “March Madness” is very low (which would surprise no one who knows me). I truly picked Gonzaga to win without knowing until later that they were undefeated, so it should come as no surprise that I have not really watched any games this year.

Why do I say all this? Because the real march madness I have waited for (even more than the “SnyderCut”) since witnessing the ending credit scene of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island has finally arrived, in the ultimate movie monster matchup of Godzilla vs. Kong. In fact,  I quickly realized that I have awaited this film since my dad showed me the original (and rather badly dubbed) 1960s version, which has had me on #TEAMKONG ever since.

One of the key improvements of the film over the previous two Godzilla films is simply that we spend very little time with the human characters. The story is actually easy to follow, in a sense, as the film opens up on Kong, who is now living in a replicated computerized habitat on Skull Island, with no one else except a young deaf girl named Jia (real life deaf actress Kaylee Hottle in her screen debut). Jia is in turn looked after by the island’s lead scientist, Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall). Kong is kept there, because it is the only safe place to hide Kong from Godzilla, who is always on his trail. This changes when Nathan (Alexander Skarsgard) is hired by businessman (at least I think that is what he is) Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir) to find the source underground where Godzilla seems to go for power.

Meanwhile, young Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) is a key listener of a conspiracy heavy podcast that is led by Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) and she desires answers to why Godzilla (who saved her life in the last film) is suddenly hurting people. Unhelped by her dad (Kyle Chandler), she enlists the help of her friend Josh (Julian Dennison, last seen in Deadpool 2) to find the answer.

In short, Rebecca Hall & Co. are Team Kong, while Brian Tyree Henry & Co. are Team Godzilla.

If you just skipped down the last couple paragraphs, I can’t say I blame you. No one goes to a Godzilla or King Kong movie mainly for plot and/or character development (though it could be argued there are some in the titular characters). They go for the special effects, which, to put bluntly, are amazing. I recently felt a sense of minor shame in some of my siblings who said they would rather watch this at home than on a big screen (I know there is a pandemic, but even without that, they said they would still watch it at home). This is a film that is needed to be seen on the biggest screen you can see it on (safety first, of course).

Parents, the movie does have some swearing in it (I think perhaps one F bomb), most of which are common for a PG-13 film. There is no sex or nudity. I saw a few kids in the theater who may have been around the age of 10.

The film is indeed far from a masterpiece, as there are many questions of logic raised. Even so, it would be illogical to go to a monster movie like this and expect a lot of logic. The film’s best quality is the result of the outcome. No, I will not spoil it here. I will only say that it allows the debate between who is the best of movie monsters to continue on.

I am waiting, all of you on Team Godzilla.

Come at me.

(Beats chest)


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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