It is the age-old battle... predator vs. prey, man vs. beast, lizard vs. ape, or more precisely Godzilla vs. Kong. In the world of filmdom, the latter predates the former by twenty-one years. However, the debate as to which creature would win in a fight has raged on three times along. Of course, this month's feature film is not the first time the two titans have met on the big screen. Previously, they fought in King Kong vs. Godzilla, a 1962 Japanese film and, while on the surface, it seemed that Kong was the winner, the audience was left wondering whether or not Godzilla was really dead. Almost sixty years later, Warner Bros. Once again raises the question of which one of them would win?
After Godzilla defeated King Ghidorah, he and Kong are the only two known Titan creatures left on Earth. Since Skull Island has become destabilized, Kong now lives in a giant dome controlled by Monarch and is often visited by a deaf Iwi girl named Jia (newcomer Kaylee Hottle). Meanwhile, Godzilla heads towards Florida and attacks an Apex Cybermetrics Corporation facility. Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry; If Beale Street Could Talk), infiltrates Apex as a maintenance worker and discovers an ORCA device that was previously used to try and control the Titans.
Looking for a limitless power source strong enough to bring their experiment, Mechagodzilla, to life, Apex Officer Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir; The Nun) convinces former Monarch scientist and Hollow Earth expert, Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård; True Blood) to head a team of people. This team eventually includes King Kong, his "handler", Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall; Iron Man 3), and Jia, who is Ilene's adopted daughter and Kong's "friend".
However, Once Kong is moved from his dome Godzilla attacks him, but he and the ship's crew narrowly escape and find the opening to hollow Earth. The team follows Kong on his journey "home" and when they find the King's/Godzilla's power source, Apex employees take to bring their creation to life. Suddenly, it isn't just Kong and Godzilla fighting but Mechagodzilla as well.
Director Adam Wingard (The Guest) assembles a solid cast, some of whom we have seen in Godzilla: King of Monsters. Skarsgård plays a nerdy scientist who is actually afraid of Kong, While Hall portrays Andrews as very confident and capable while still being a loving mother to Jia. Hottle is excellent and is not only cute but draws attention every time she is on screen. Henry is comic relief but adding Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown; Stranger Things) and her friend Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison; Deadpool 2) was unnecessary and while I think they are great; the movie would have been the same with or without them.
The special effect and fight scenes are well done, which will probably make any true Kong and/or Godzilla fan happy. However, while the original soundtrack is pulsating with drumbeats, the few commercial songs Wingard used during the opening scene, later when Kong is chained to the ship, etc. were stupid and cheesy and add nothing to the movie besides eliciting a possible groan from the audience.
Do you have a favorite Titan? Have you taken bets on which monster reigns as king after their epic battles are over? Are you heading to the movie theater as soon as the movie opens?
Godzilla vs. Kong has a lot of different things going on all at once and, for me, it distracted from the overall experience. Cheesy, too long, and one big, muddled mess makes for a rather unappealing and ineffective movie, so please put the debate to rest for a while and stop making King Kong/Godzilla movies.