Released on Mar. 30, “Godzilla vs. Kong” introduces a new chapter of the two iconic characters going against one another in this captivating, thrilling and adventurous film. The film was directed by Adam Wingard and starred Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown and Brian Tyree Henry. This movie puts two powerful, fierce and intense characters into environments where they are surrounded by people who strive to divide humanity.
The film captures the mighty titans populating the globe. For a while, both Godzilla and King Kong were silent and stayed away from civilization. That was until Godzilla attacked the Apex Cybernetics Facility due to his knowledge of a fellow computerized Godzilla being made by scientists. After his attack, scientist Dr. Nathan Land (Alexander Skarsgard) and others go on a mission with King Kong to harness the ecosystem’s radioactive energy, design a weapon to defeat Godzilla and allow Kong to discover a new habitat. The main focus of the mission is to find Kong a place where he could live happily and not be in a dangerous situation due to both titans being on Earth.
In the film, Godzilla is seen repeatedly as a powerful force of nature that cannot seem to be defeated. On the other hand, King Kong has softened throughout the years, and the film truly demonstrates Kong’s need for family and close relations. He even forms a bond with a young, orphaned girl named Jia (Kaylee Hottle). The development of both titans is captivating because the viewers are able to fall in love with the storyline of Jia and Kong. The love that the two share for one another is inspiring, infectious and may even tug on someone’s heartstrings.
Characters including Dr. Nathan Land, Jia and Rebecca Hall escort Kong on his journey to find a new place to call home and find a power source to defeat Godzilla. Another team of characters, such as Madison Russell, Bernie Hayes and Josh Valentine, try to discover Godzilla’s robotic threat. Even though all of the human characters get screen time, the main focus is Godzilla and Kong, which was to be expected. One would have thought that the two separate teams would have had some interaction since they both watch as the two titans fight in dangerous battles; however, the two teams never interact. The actors and actresses within the film are of minimal importance because, although the human characters have moments worthy of praise and significance, the main reason to watch this two hour movie is because of the nerve-wracking fights between Godzilla and Kong.
The film pans out exactly how one would imagine: both titans fight for three rounds head-to-head, and in the third round, they defeat the robotic Godzilla together. The movie lives up to its name entirely by giving the audience several pulverizing moments of pure destruction and wrath between the two enemies. For many of the fights being shown in the film, Kong is receiving most of the violence. Godzilla is quite mighty, and at times, it seems as though King Kong might pull himself together and finish off Godzilla. The majority of the time, however, Godzilla has too much power over Kong. Although the two titans battle it out themselves, the most victorious moment within the film is when they became a team to defeat the robotic Godzilla. The film ends on a dramatic note when both creatures nod off at each other politely and civilly, and Godzilla disappears.
Throughout the film, one almost begins to feel empathetic towards Godzilla because he was threatened by another creature that was designed as him. The film mainly focuses on King Kong and his journey to find a new home, communicate using sign language with Jia and “defeat” Godzilla. King Kong is truly the only character that becomes more mature and showcases personality growth. He is kinder to people, and he has several close relationships with humans. Godzilla is quite the outsider; other than his interactions with Kong, he is alone in the world. Godzilla has no one, and this fact may make the audience feel somewhat sympathetic towards the powerful titan.
If there is one major flaw to the film, it would probably be the fights themselves. The battle between Godzilla and Kong seemed quick and not as engrossing as one would have envisioned. Additionally, the movie was a tad disappointing with its inability to showcase human elements, such as reactions to the intense fighting and being in gruesome situations. There was often a quick trading of narratives as well. Another problem with the film is the conversation of the ancient rivalry between Godzilla and Kong. For years, viewers have wondered how this rivalry started initially, but this film does not mention that background story either. The feud between the two titans seems shallow because it feels as if the two characters are enemies for no reason. “Godzilla vs. Kong” cannot express the basic understanding of the two characters’ development and interactions.
Although the film has several drawbacks, the cinematography and visuals are breathtaking. The way the crew created the titans in a more “realistic” style filled with great size and strength was truly inspiring and made the film more exciting to watch. Each battle between the two creatures was an outstanding visual performance from the water and on-land scenes. Despite the need for more action in the fight scenes, the one valid reason to watch this two-hour movie is those fighting scenes. The rest of the film does not have any significance other than wasting time by giving minor characters screen time. The franchise of both Godzilla and King Kong deserved more out of this film, as it needed more power and more punch within the storyline. Without the battles between the two titans, the film would be meaningless.