Godzilla vs Kong (2021)
Cinema Only (at time of writing)
Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall
Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another - the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong - with humanity caught in the balance.
Godzilla vs Kong takes place approximately five years after the events of 'Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019)'. Kong is being monitored by Monarch within a giant dome on Skull Island. Kong expert Ilene, along with her deaf adopted daughter Jia, are convinced by Nathan Lind to take Kong on an expedition to Hollow Earth in an effort to locate and harness the source of titan power.
Meanwhile after a seemingly unprovoked Godzilla attack on an Apex facility, Apex worker Bernie, Madison Russell and her friend Josh investigate the potentially sinister goings on at Apex in an effort to explain the rampage.
The film takes no time to get going, with plenty of Godzilla and Kong action within the opening act of the movie. The first half is entirely satisfying with a nice blend of action, character development and sufficiently subtle exposition to keep the viewer up to speed. We then found Godzilla vs Kong lost its way slightly with the search for Hollow Earth becoming an unclear, slightly tedious set of speed bumps on the way to what was inevitably going to be a spectacular blockbuster finale.
The 'B' story following the trio's investigation of Apex was utilised more of a comedic balance to the main expedition, and whilst just about contributing to the plot felt more like the writers were trying to find a way to feature Millie Bobby Brown.
Given the running time fell under two hours, the shortest in the series, none of the shortcomings mentioned had grave consequences in terms of our overall enjoyment of the film as the pace never dragged. Whilst we concede that even monster action movies need some sort of a plot in order to function, we found many of the eventual story revelations/character motivations in Godzilla vs Kong to be either poorly explained or lazily written. The direction at least was on point, with climactic scenes so spectacular we couldn't help but leave ultimately satisfied.
To put it in relative terms, we found Godzilla vs Kong to be better than Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019), but inferior to Kong: Skull Island (2017). Like its predecessor the film suffered from an over-reliance on incredible action sequences and special effects, whilst being let down by slap-dash writing and dialogue. When a film heavily features two of the greatest monsters in cinema history you really just need a story solid and simple enough to let them shine. We found Godzilla vs Kong's tale unnecessarily messy and ambitious. These flaws, however, are more than made up for with ample screen time of the two great beasts in action, and a must-see on the big screen if you can manage it.
PUFF'S FINAL SCORE