The 519th Film I have seen in theaters…
Three years have passed since Godzilla defeated Monster Zero, saving the Earth. It has been a quiet time. Humanity advances as they study the Titans and adapt to their new reality. Without apparent provocation, Godzilla attacks a science facility in Florida belonging to the Apex Cybernetics Corporation. After years of peace, the Monarch Org (who studies the Titans) wonders why this happened. Dr. Russell, head of Monarch special projects, is on the case; as is his daughter Madison who feels there is more to Apex than they are showing the world.
On Skull Island, Kong has been kept in a dome which simulates his normal habitat. This is not being done cruelly, but for his protection. The legends of the Titans tell that the ancestors of Kong and Godzilla were enemies and warred against one another. As Godzilla travelled the world, defeating other titan threats, Kong’s human protectors at Monarch needed to hide him away. Trouble is brewing though. Kong is outgrowing his dome, and wants to get out. Dr. Ilene Andrews, Monarch’s “Kong whisperer”, and Jia, the only survivor of Skull’s native tribe, know that Godzilla will eventually come for him, but don’t know what to do.
Dr. Nathan Lind is a former Monarch scientist and an expert on the Hollow Earth theory. He believes that there is a void, a world deep within the Earth which is the home of the Titans. He had previously tried to send an expedition to the Hollow Earth, but they were killed by gravitational anomalies. The team included Lind’s brother. Walter Simmons, the founder of Apex Cybernetics, reaches out and recruits Lind to find a way into the Hollow Earth using ships of his design. There is a strong power source in that world that has recently been detected and Apex wants a sample of it. Simmons assigns his daughter Maia to oversee the mission. Lind’s best theory on how to get inside: As a Titan’s natural habitat is the Hollow Earth, have a titan lead them inside. There’s only one Titan they have access to. They put Kong on a ship, with a military armada as defense, and set off for Antarctica, where an entrance to the Hollow has been uncovered.
As Madison Russell, and friends, infiltrate the destroyed Apex facility to find clues as to why Godzilla attack, they stumble upon a greater danger.
Alexander Skarsgård plays Nathan Lind, the lead geologist. He does an ok job as the heroic leader type, one he is well practiced at. My wife enjoys watching him, so she was happy.
I hate to say it, but they really didn’t need Millie Bobby Brown, or her dad, to return for this movie. She teams up with her friend Josh (left, played by Julian Dennison), and a conspiracy theorist podcaster Bernie (right, played by Brian Tyree Henry). The infiltrate Apex and discover the secret project. Aside from a spilled drink on a computer console (to short it out), they don’t contribute very much to the film aside from comic relief and exposition. They were just observers to most of the central action in their scenes in Apex. Obviously she has the name recognition so they couldn’t cut her, but they easily could have just shown things from Walter Simmons’ perspective and achieve the same result.
Rebecca Hall plays Ilene Andrews, Kong’s advocate. She has adopted the last survivor of the Skull Island tribe. She’s spent years with Kong, trying to teach him some sign language, without success. She’s a good actress, who I last saw in Iron Man 3 I believe. Good job here.
Kaylee Hottle plays that last survivor: Jia. Deaf, she has formed a special relationship with Kong, being probably the only human he completely trusts. Kid actors are tough, but she did well in a non speaking role.
Demian Bichir is Walter Simmons, the visionary behind Apex. While Monarch studies the titans and tries to live with them, Simmons sees them as humanity’s greatest threat. His secret project is his answer to this problem…more on that below. 🙂
Eiza Gonzalez plays Maia, Simmons’ daughter. She is in charge of the mission to bring Kong to the hollow earth. Not a huge role, but I did enjoy her final scene. lol
As with Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler has little to do here. The human lead in Godzilla 2, he just putters around Monarch HQ and tries to call his daughter on the phone.
Now… the REAL cast.
Godzilla, King of the Monsters. As always, ‘Zilla has some amazing scenes of destruction, but he’s not the central monster in this story. As before, the portray the character correctly. He is not evil, he is a force of nature who strives to maintain balance on the Earth by eliminating other Titans, at least those that refuse to bow to him. I am team Godzilla.
Kong bows to no one. My wife is Team Kong, which is nice as this is 100% Kong’s film. We follow him on his journey to Antarctica as Godzilla tries to kill him. The movie makes us root for him. We then travel to the Hollow Earth and learn about Kong’s ancestors and where he comes from. He then faces off against Godzilla in a knuckle buster which levels Hong Kong, and we still are rooting for him, while being sad that this is happening at all. The movie promised that a winner would be decided, and that “ONE WILL FALL”. They made good on that promise.
The fight scenes were truly spectauclar, but at the end of it, Godzilla defeats Kong. Kong is left weakened and near death with Godzilla’s foot on his chest, ready to kill him. Kong roars, but acquiesces. Godzilla is truly the King of the Monsters. Godzilla’s victory is short lived though, as the Apex secret project activates…
This is the best I could do, lol. MechaGodzilla rises from Apex and kicks Godzilla’s ass. It is revealed that Godzilla was attacking Apex because he sensed a threat from within. They were using the skull of Ghidorah, Monster Zero, to develop the Mecha. It being Ghidorah, it overides the human controlling MechaGodzilla, and takes over, killing Simmons and going after Godzilla in revenge for the events of KotM.
Seeing the threat of MechaGodzilla, Kong realizes that Godzilla is not his enemy and they team up to defeat MechaZilla. It was pretty awesome, as a fan, to see Godzilla and King Kong team up against mother-f’n MechaGodzilla.
This was my first film in a theater since Jojo Rabbit in January of 2020. 14 1/2 months! I haven’t gone that long without seeing a movie since 1988! Covid remains a terrible threat, but I’ve been doing my part. I wore my mask, socially distanced, and remotely worked. I limited my shopping excursions (using a lot of delivery services) and was careful. I received my second Pfizer vaccination in mid March. We are now fully vaccinated and able to emerge from the cocoon.
I was pretty impressed with the measures Showcase Cinemas is taking with theater safety. The 6 feet positions were clearly marked, and people were respecting the rules. The bathrooms and theater were actually immaculately clean, best I’ve seen since the theater first opened. The seats were comfortable (I think they upgraded the chairs during the pandemic) and the spacing between parties was perfect while seated. Although I am vaccinated, there is still a small chance of getting sick, or passing it on. I am happy to say that I felt perfectly safe in this environment. That probably constituted a partial reason for the broad smile on my face throughout the movie. A partial reason. The main reason was that I was finally seeing a movie again, and a Godzilla one at that.
I saw this in IMAX. Now, it is not shot in IMAX or presented in that screen ratio, but it did not matter. Godzilla vs Kong needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible. I have HBO Max and could have watched this from my living room (and I will be doing so this weekend) but it is not the same. I know theaters can sometimes be annoying with kids talking and jerks looking at their phones, but the cinema experience cannot be fully replicated at home. I know people have their fancy home set ups, but it’s not the same. The whole experience of leaving the house, getting some food, sitting down and enjoying the movie, away from your normal life, is special. I’ve missed that, and I will be reactivating my Showcase subscription account and seeing my requisite 3 movies (minimum) per month. It’s good to be back.
Now, how was the movie?
It was great. A true popcorn flick, and a crowd pleaser. There isn’t much depth here, no greater message. There doesn’t have to be. It is a Godzilla movie, with all the spectacle that entails. It is also a King Kong movie, with all of the sympathy, and emotion, the character brings to the table. This is the last planned film under Legendary’s license from Toho, aside from a Skull Island animated series coming to Netflix. GvK actually makes a good finale to the series, so I wouldn’t be too sad if this is the end. Toho will be making Godzilla movies long after I’m dead, so there’ll be no shortage of those. How does this rank in the Legendary Pictures MonsterVerse?
- Godzilla vs Kong
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters
- Kong: Skull Island
Yeah, it’s the best. I’ve felt that each film improved on the last, with this easily taking the top prize. They should be happy with that achievement, and the rip-roaring success the movie is having at the theater! 2 days in and they’ve already made 138 million worldwide, not counting all those HBO Max subscription numbers. That’s great in these strange times, but thanks to Godzilla vs Kong, these times are getting a little more normal.