Story

The sequel to both Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters Godzilla vs. Kong is an American Monster film from Legendary Pictures MonsterVerse. In the movie, Godzilla is on a rampage attacking and destroying cities for unknown reasons. To stop Godzilla, a group of humans lure Kong to Hollow Earth and retrieve a power source to stop Godzilla and save humanity.

Full thoughts and Review of Godzilla Vs. Kong

The most anticipated fight in cinema (despite happening already in 1962)  Godzilla vs. Kong is the first and maybe last story in the Monsterverse of two classic Titans or kaiju battles. While worldwide, the four films grossed 1.7 billion dollars, the US domestic box office makes up less than $530 million of that total. The Monsterverse is at crossroads that the time of this article, and Godzilla vs. Kong needs to be a hit.

Godzilla vs. Kong takes place five years after Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Some changes happened that I felt lost in terms of characters and story, despite seeing the other movies. I didn’t know that this time jump took place watching the film until I look this up. I had many plotholes unless I missed the story during the quick cut, black-ops, hidden footage style storytelling, and many plot gaps/holes. Where was Godzilla’s entourage of Titans from the end of Godzilla: King of the Monsters? How old is Kong since most gorillas don’t live past forty years old, and the time frame between Kong Skull Island and Godzilla vs. Kong is almost fifty years? What happened to the eco-terrorists group that unleashed the Titans to destroy humanity in King of the Monsters? Apex Cybernetics, a new company in this universe, comes from seemingly nowhere in such a short time. The film tries to exposition the gaps in dialogue throughout the movie but felt shoved in to fill up the holes quickly and didn’t work most of the time.

Previous characters are back from the last movies, like Madison and Dr. Mark Russell, the two characters from Godzilla: King of the Monsters. There isn’t much focus on Dr. Mark Russell in this film, which I wonder why he was in the movie as much as he was. Madison is the main story of the Godzilla side of the story, trying to figure out why he is acting up and attacking human cities, not wanting to believe Godzilla’s going rogue. Bernie Hayes joins her, a former Apex Cybernetic technical turned conspiracy podcaster, to expose a sinister plan Apex Cybernetics is hiding from the world. The two worked well, and I liked their story, but I didn’t care for the third member Josh, Madison’s friend, who is the reluctant realist of the group. If you cut him out, I wouldn’t have missed him, as it added more annoyance than help to the group’s dynamic.

Apex Cybernetics is a new group with intentions that make you say, “Ohh, I get what will happen, why Godzilla is attacking them, and their point” within the first several minutes of seeing them. They are a corporation led by Walter Simmons. While I didn’t particularly appreciate how they just showed up out of nowhere, I understand that they not as they seem in their intentions in the movie was great. His daughter is Maia Simmons, who joins Kong in finding the power source needed to stop Godzilla. Walter and Maia, I liked but felt cliche and predictable in terms of story and role. One character in this group who needed more development was Ren Serizawa. Another character and worked for Apex, and I didn’t understand who he was and the significance until I looked him up. I didn’t know that he was Ishirō’s son, the scientist from the previous Godzilla movies. Why it felt like he switched sides from what his father was about is not made that clear to me. They are all characters that I didn’t dislike and understood the why, but it wasn’t clear enough the who and where.

No previous characters return from Kong: Skull Island, but we have new characters watching over him. Dr. IIene Andrews is the Monarch anthropological linguist and the adoptive guardian of Jia. Jia is a deaf orphan Iwi native of Skull Island with a bond and communicates with Kong through sign language. Apex Cybernetics hire them with Monarch scientist Dr. Nathan Lind, a cartographer and geologist reluctantly recruit to find Hollow earth. They felt like they were the film’s main focus, but the story’s pace felt misplaced, either too slow or too fast at times.  

For the story, I’m indecisive on how I felt. I liked Godzilla Vs. Kong and disliked the film’s structure.  I get that the movie can’t consist of two hours of monster fighting (as cool as that still could be). But with the gaps in the story at the beginning of the film,  Godzilla vs. Kong has its work cut out to make it good. While I did have some interest in the Godzilla and Kong characters’ journeys and stories, it felt imbalanced. Kong felt like he had more screen time than Godzilla, and Godzilla’s plot in the film felt more focused and better paced than Kong’s. There was too much focus on getting Kong to Hollow Earth, and when you finally get there, it’s rushed to the plot device that characters are trying to reach. The film is about two hours, and it didn’t feel too long or too short, but it might need a rework or revision to make the story, pacing, and focus better.

When the film finally got to Kong and Godzilla fighting, the film’s high point was the few fights that we get. The battle locations made sense when and why they took place near the beginning and ending climax of the film. Visually stunning and paced well, this is the main reason that everyone wanted to watch this movie, and it didn’t disappoint. I got the style of the classic monster movies that came before it, without people in rubber costumes fighting. I even liked some of the throwbacks and easter eggs snuck in for each character’s history in cinema. Easily the best part of the film.

Summarized thoughts and review of Godzilla Vs. Kong

I hope that this isn’t the last film in the series because this was an entertaining movie. It’s still a giant kaiju-styled hill to climb that still has its problems but is starting to get fixed and needs to keep going to get both better and more sequels if it isn’t too late. The plotholes left between films can make you feel lost, even if you saw the other films in the series. Having some uninteresting characters and story elements brings the appealing characters and story elements down. When Godzilla and Kong fought, the movie shows the entertainment value that the MonsterVerse can provide to the movie-going audience.

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