Review: 'Godzilla Vs. Kong' Is Pure Theatrical Entertainment

Movie Reviews
Kyle Brester
April 6, 2021
by Kyle Brester
Godzilla vs. Kong
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The biggest rivalry of all time has finally been bestowed upon us. We have been waiting a long time to witness the fight between Godzilla and Kong. It's been quite a journey for this "monster-verse" franchise, as it has gone through many different interpretations. From 2014's Godzilla to Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, we finally have arrived at the ultimate climax. So was the wait worth it? Yes...and no.

The plot of Godzilla vs. Kong is basically that Godzilla is mysteriously destroying a cybernetics company named Apex in Hong Kong, and Apex hires a scientist to get King Kong to lead him to a mysterious world underneath the Earth in order to find a way to stop Godzilla. But really, the important thing in all this is that the story has Godzilla and Kong squaring off multiple times, and that's all that matters.

Oh yeah, Godzilla vs. Kong is awesome. The movie ended up not only being an mindless action film, but it was able to take that mindlessness and turn it into a very eventful theater experience. It understands how to be grand in scope, but with the right amount of schlock and goofiness. It avoids being a monster movie that is weighted down by unnecessary dramatic stakes and instead becomes a popcorn flick that understands that sometimes, non-consequential action is fun. In short, audiences can kick back, root for their favorite monster to win, and not worry about being so serious while watching.

Like many of these types of movies, there unfortunately has to be human characters. But I will give credit to director Adam Wingard and writer Terry Rossio because unlike most monster movies, the humans are not overshadowing the fights. They are there to push the narrative forward, explain what these monsters are thinking, and then wisely move out of the way for them to square off with the most beautifully ridiculous action scenes.

The main humans are split into two teams: Team Godzilla and Team Kong. Team Godzilla involved the return of Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) from Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, her friend Josh (Julian Dennison), along with a conspiracy podcaster (Brian Tyree Henry.) They go on a journey to Hong Kong to figure out why Godzilla attacked Apex. I'll keep it brief; while their adventure leads to a climax that's hilariously amazing, they are the least eventful part of the movie.

To my surprise, there was a decent human storyline within Team Kong. There is a young deaf girl named Jai (Kaylee Hottle) who is the adoptive daughter of "Kong Whisperer" Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), who develops a bond with Kong. For how much the characters are pushed to the side (wisely so), this was the most endearing part of the movie. Oh, and they have a nerdy, but handsome scientist named Nathan Lind (Alexander SkarsgÄrd) who really doesn't add much outside of causing Kong's involvement with the story.

While the two monsters are front and center, the story makes King Kong more of a protagonist while Godzilla acts as his antagonist. Both monsters seem to still have a soft spot for humans, even if they are causing mass destruction everywhere they go. It's a funny double-edged sword where it's mindless chaos, yet these monsters still care for the humans too. It doesn't hurt the enjoyment of the movie and it doesn't cause the movie to suffer either.

So now back to the question, was it worth the wait? Honestly, not really. 

Don't get me wrong, this movie is a blast, and the anticipation of seeing it in theaters was worth it. But that anticipation was not due to years of building a monster-verse that ties everything to this moment. I have enjoyed Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is okay but forgettable, and 2014's Godzilla is a tad underrated. But the connective tissue and world building in those movies does not make or break Godzilla vs. Kong. If there are people who loved this extended universe, more power to you, but for the majority of audiences, it really won't matter.

So whether you are invested in the Warner Bros monster-verse or not, Godzilla vs. Kong is going to an entertaining, mindless action packed theater experience that couldn't have arrived at a better time.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong - Warner Bros.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong - Warner Bros.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong - Warner Bros.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong - Warner Bros.
Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong - Warner Bros.
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