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Godzilla vs. Kong review: Should you watch the latest Monsterverse movie?

Kong attacking Godzilla in the new film.
Kong attacking Godzilla in the new film. Pic credit: Warner Brothers

Theaters may not be as packed as they once were, and we all might be in a guessing game when our world may return to normalcy. But cheer up because a blockbuster is finally here, and Godzilla vs. Kong is the perfect antidote to cure any pandemic woes one might have.

The film directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest, Blair Witch) brings both iconic creatures to the screen like never before. And it will absolutely entertain every fiber of the viewers’ being.

Who wins and who loses? Is this the best versus movie ever made? Here is our full review of Godzilla vs. Kong.

Godzilla vs. Kong review

The fourth sequel in the Warner Brothers monsterverse picks up sometime after the events of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Kong has been captured since the days of Skull Island and is being housed in a giant arena that simulates a jungle.

Rebecca Hall’s character (Ilene Andrews) is Kong’s caretaker now in his new home, and as one magazine explains, she is the “Kong Whisperer.”

But what people are unaware of, a small deaf child named Jia (Kaylee Hottle) is truly the one who has Kong under control. If, at any point, Kong is mad or frustrated, finding Jia brings him calm, and they both have a relationship that Kong will not give to anyone else.

Meanwhile, Godzilla is behaving abnormally and is wreaking havoc at a secret, heavily guarded location. Revealing the name of this location feels extremely spoilerish, so let’s say it’s a dead giveaway why he is mad if one thinks too long about it. But just like the military does in every movie, they misunderstand and are ready to attack the lizard without asking why.

Adding to this is a wild side plot involving a mysterious thing called Hollow Earth, and Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard), an old scientist from Monarch, who pleads with Ilene to have Kong take them there because he believes that is where all the “Titans” originated.

The issue is that having to transport Kong can make Godzilla realize another Alpha is around.

And well, one can guess what happens next.

Godzilla approaching Kong in Kong vs. Godzilla.
Godzilla approaching Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong. Pic credit: Warner Brothers

Godzilla vs. Kong does suffer a lot of similar issues from the first two Godzilla films. For one, besides the sweet child Jia, not a single human character is memorable. Having just seen the film, this writer had to research what the characters’ names were because no one cares.

Millie Bobby Brown has been in two films now, and when seeing her, all viewers will remember is “that girl from Stranger Things” instead of “Madison.”

The dialogue is still rough and gets a tad silly to a fault at times. It’s been a common practice with most of these films — although Kong: Skull Island found a healthy balance.

All this aside, holy monkeys and lizards, Batman! Godzilla vs. Kong is a thrill ride.

Where this film succeeds compared to the others is the heart behind it. For one, Kong is the heart and soul of Godzilla vs. Kong. What the production figured out is that for us to be invested in the stakes, we had to feel emotionally insecure about one of these monsters, and through the disabled child Jia, we get connected in the battle in a way that we never have before.

Kong and Jia (Kaylee Hottle) in Godzilla vs. Kong.
Kong and Jia (Kaylee Hottle) in Godzilla vs. Kong. Pic credit: Warner Brothers

And because we are emotionally anchored with Kong, the fight feels like the ending of Captain America: Civil War, where we are seeing two characters try to kill each other – and we want neither to die.

On top of this, Godzilla vs. Kong has brilliantly crafted action pieces that are creative as well as enthralling. The throwdown in the middle of the ocean is a great example of using a difficult location to bring these titans together and make it work wonderfully.

It was a common complaint in the first Transformers that it was hard to see what was happening at times. Here, Wingard took inspiration from Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim and allows us to see every punch and bite.

Most of all, Godzilla vs. Kong is braver in its ability to embrace the term “fantasy” in the genre of “Scifi Fantasy.” We will not be touching on many details here but once the film enters its second act, the imagination behind the monsterverse gets magnificently realized.

Without a doubt, it will put a smile on faces everywhere.

Why should you watch Godzilla vs. Kong?

Godzilla vs. Kong delivers exactly what fans will want from a movie with both of these iconic monsters. It’s fun, imaginative, and it does not take itself too seriously.

Much like Fast Five in the Fast and Furious franchise, this series has found its best sequel several movies later. And just like that series, it gives the property brand new life that wasn’t there.

Between the amazingly orchestrated action scenes and the heart behind Kong, Godzilla vs. Kong is why we go to the movies.

If readers enjoyed this review, check out more coverage of other films from HBO Max such as Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Tom and Jerry.

Godzilla vs. Kong can be seen in theaters as well as HBO Max starting today.

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