Since the global shutdown in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic made me appreciate a lot of things I took for granted. Surprisingly, more than anything, it made me miss the kind of movie you can turn your brain off in a theater and escape from the stress of reality and just watch some stuff blowup. It is because of this (and not much else) that Godzilla vs. Kong stands out to me as a truly special movie.
Godzilla vs. Kong is exactly what it sounds like: two of the most famous movie monsters of all time duking it out in a mindless visual spectacle. Under that definition, the movie more than delivers. Where the movie falls short, however, is as a standalone film with major script issues that would hold it back from being an instant classic under normal circumstances.
Your overall enjoyment of this movie will most likely depend on whether or not you can make it out to a theater. I debated staying home and watching it on HBO Max, but I made the last-minute decision to buy a ticket to see it at my local theater. Without a doubt, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Godzilla vs. Kong is by far one of the most entertaining movies of all time. Director Adam Wingard holds nothing back in this beautiful visual spectacle with top notch VFX and action that supersedes any Kaiju sequence ever put to film. The feeling of being back in a theater after so long watching the best mindless blockbuster I have ever seen combined to create a truly memorable experience for me. Where this movie falls short, however, is almost everything else about it.
The script features far too many human characters to the point where I did not have the time to learn any of their names. In fact, as I was watching some of the dialogue sequences, I was able to identify at least three characters that should not have been in the film, because their roles were useless or could have been attributed to another, more likeable character. Alexander Skarsgård and Julian Dennision’s characters could have easily been written out with a red pen, which is a shame because as actors, they are extremely talented. Millie Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall, and Kaylee Hottle standout in the crowded film and are the only essential human characters in the script.
The film also moves away from the horror genre that I personally loved from previous films in the series. The new, action-heavy tone works well enough, especially when it comes to the high-octane action sequences, but I have a personal preference for the horror elements of Godzilla and King Kong, so I hope that this more of a fun detour than the new norm.
The script is serviceable to get from action sequence to action sequence, but it had far more potential to expand the mythology and lore of new world established in the series. The dense packing of human characters and the story’s obvious effort to cut corners to get out beloved monsters to the next city to destroy makes Godzilla vs. Kong more of an incredible thrill ride than a quality film. Still, everyone loves a good thrill, and you cannot get much better than this movie.
Godzilla vs. Kong is out now in theaters and on HBO Max. If you can do it safely and comfortably, watch this film on the biggest screen possible. It truly made the film a special experience and a perfect welcome home for someone who desperately misses movie theaters.
- A (as an experience)
- B (as a film)