Godzilla vs. Kong: The BRWC Review. By Alif Majeed.
As I went in to watch Godzilla vs. Kong, the excitement level was obvious for the “big screen” movie that has come out after a while. It was amazing hearing people all around arguing about who will win in the epic showdown they are about to witness. It is strangely something I rarely witnessed before in a theatre, even for the big superheroes mash-ups. Must be something about giant iconic monsters having a go at it that rubs into the atmosphere.
Godzilla vs. Kong was going to be a culmination the Monsterverse was building up to over the last three movies, or at least phase one of it. No matter how many monsters it introduced in Godzilla: King of Monsters, this is the movie that everyone was eagerly awaiting with bated excitement. For most parts, it assuages the anticipation you had for it. Even though the story that binds the movie almost comes off like a convoluted window dressing to get the two alphas together with a completely new villain in the form of Apex, the company that takes over as the big bad from Monarch.
The movie begins with Godzilla emerging to destroy Apex’s headquarters, causing a tremendous amount of damage. The CEO of Apex, Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir), hires Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) to find the hidden portal from where the monsters emerge to harness the power from its source (for scientific purposes, as they always say). They recruit Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and her war Jia (an adorable Kaylee Hottle) into the mission as they are the present guardians of Kong whom they need to find the pathway to the portal. In their way stands the king of monsters, Godzilla, as they somehow get attracted to each other to eliminate the other and become the King of Alphas (the movie only offers a vague explanation for that).
Having already proved his mettle in the action genre with movies like You’re Next and The Guest, Adam Wingard has brought that sense of timing and action here, getting to play with a much bigger canvas. When the movie goes into action mode, you can feel and see each punch and blow. He also does not hide the titular monsters in shadows and dim lights for the sake of mystery. Right from the outset, you get to see not just Kong and Godzilla but also the other monsters in all their full glory. And when an unexpected character makes its appearance, quite a few jaws dropped in the audience, including mine.
The problem arises when the movie focuses on the story and the human characters. Skarsgård and Hall are pretty charismatic actors, but here they are mostly following Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pine’s character dynamics in Jurassic World if both of them had the former’s personality in that movie.
The secondary track involving the characters of Brian Tyree Henry, Millie Bobby Brown, and Julian Dennison infiltrating Apex’s headquarters to find out what they are really up to is also not that convincing. (Though I enjoyed the gag involving Julian trying to access the Apex system, an in-joke gently mocking the kids hacking into Jurassic Park’s computers out of nowhere).
Before the movie started, I had a rough idea of how many times Kong and Godzilla would fight each other, and I got the count bang on target. It might come as a slight disappointment, but all that washes away because when the action happens, the movie roars and how.
As the movie ended, the argument continued about who would win the epic showdown between the two characters and why. That doesn’t matter in the end. If a movie where giant monsters and giant apes beat the socks out of each other is what you want to watch, Godzilla vs. Kong is bang on the buck.
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