Godzilla and King Kong face each other in quite literally the biggest head to head matchup of the year.

Life is rough for a radioactive dinosaur as the infamous Godzilla can’t seem to catch a break. It’s been 59 years since the two Kaiju monsters first butted heads against each other. Now, in one of the most anticipated fictional matches of the year, does it hold up to expectations? 

Following the realization that the Skull Island biodome can no longer contain him, the film sets off with a special task force whose mission is to liberate King Kong from the unstable climate to travel to “Hollow Earth,” where they believe all Titans originated from. 

However, Apex technology — the leading world tech company that set the special task force in motion — has an ulterior motive to seek out middle earth’s ancient power source. Which disrupts the natural order and eventually leads to an intense showdown between the two. 

But before they reach this source, on their journey to take Kong across the world to Antarctica where the entrance lies, the task force’s fleet is caught in Titans’ cross hairs as Godzilla and Kong first battle it out to see who will reign dominant. This sets the stage for the rest of the film packed chalk full with action, intense battles and breathtaking CGI.  

Those who are expecting absolutely intense brawls between the two Titans will not be disappointed. It is clear that most of the film’s budget went into meticulously crafting fight scenes to be as grand and extraordinary as possible to really pack a punch. These scenes are only heightened by the great sound design. Both Godzilla and King Kong sound as intimidating and menacing as ever before.

With that being said, the overall production value is extraordinary. As longtime as well as new fans possess high hopes, the visual expectations for these movies are only increasing, and Wingard along with his creative and production teams did not do viewers a disservice. 

With imagery stemming mainly from Hawaii and Queensland, Australia, the principal photography for “Godzilla vs. Kong” captures the breathtaking and expansive lands of the tropics and green mountains. The hollow earth scenes in the film are no exception with both settings transformed by special effects and CGI coupled with other mythical creatures roaming about, it appears like no place audiences have seen before.  

However, being an action movie with long-running storylines comes a lot of action cliches that range from outdated jokes that don’t seem to land and the comic relief sidekick character to other forgettable roles that do little to advance the plot. Everything basically falls into place. 

This makes the plot extremely predictable and relatively juvenile. The film runs at a very fast pace, thus focusing more on showing the audience some action in order to progress narrative rather than doing so through dialogue. While this approach primarily leaves any dialogue scenes bland and forgettable, it gives us an insanely action packed film that leaves little to nothing to be desired — that is, if you’re just here to watch the two behemoths duke it out for the nearly two hour runtime. 

With “Kong: Skull Island” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” predicating this one, the characters this time around seem quite shallow. I didn’t find myself caring much about the characters which, in turn, made it feel as if there wasn’t much at stake for most of them. 

The performances by some of the actors, such as Eiza González and Millie Bobby Brown, felt half baked. Whereas other characters like Jia, the young, deaf Iwi girl played by first time actress Kaylee Hottle, gave an outstanding performance that provided an extra layer of depth to the film as well as aspects of Kong’s personality. 

While the overarching narrative and characters are nothing special, the fight scenes and visuals are ones for the ages. With a nearly beginning to end action packed movie, if you are looking for a modern monster film that doesn’t hold back on the visuals and special effects, you will not be disappointed by this year’s release of “Godzilla vs. Kong.” The film gives audiences and fans the crossover of the decade and absolutely doesn’t let down. 

Availability: Out in theaters March 25, 2021. To Stream on HBO Max March 31, 2021

Title: Godzilla vs. Kong

Star Rating: Four out of five stars

Good:

  • CGI fights don’t hold back
  • Sound design contains a lot of depth
  • Extremely high production value

Bad:

  • Shallow characters
  • Riddled with action movie cliches
  • Predictable narrative

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