Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) ☆☆☆(3/4): The Clash of Titans

“Godzilla vs. Kong” overwhelmed me more than once, and I sort of admired that. Like its predecessor “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (2019), the movie relentlessly flaunts excessiveness and outrageousness from the beginning to the end, and I finally came to embrace this even while being well aware of its many flaws including nonsense plot and broad characters. To be frank with you, I stopped following whatever those tiny human characters in the film are actually doing, and then I simply let myself amazed and swept by the spectacular big matches between two iconic monsters on the screen, which are incidentally the whole point of the film.

During its early part, the movie quickly establishes a sudden emergency caused by the unexpected appearance of Godzilla, who, as some of you remember, saved the Earth and the humanity as beating his arch-nemesis creature in the previous film. After Godzilla attacks a certain big facility owned by some powerful global corporation and the surrounding area in Florida, people around the world come to fear Godzilla again as bracing for another possible attack, but Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), who got closely involved with what happened at the climax of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”, believes that there must be a reason behind Godzilla’s rather inexplicable attack. Along with her nerdy boyfriend and a goofy conspiracy theorist guy running a podcast to which she has often listened, she tries to get to the bottom of what is exactly going on, and, of course, what they come to discover is certainly not good at all.

Meanwhile, the movie also focuses on the current status of Kong, a humongous gorilla who previously appeared in “Kong: Skull Island” (2017). Although around 50 years have passed since what happened in “Kong: Skull Island”, Kong is still a powerful and aggressive entity, and he has been studied by Dr. Madison Russell (Rebecca Hall) and her associates in a secret facility specifically designed for him. Dr. Russell sincerely believes that she is doing her best for providing an alternative home to Kong, but Kong does not look that happy at all as being more aware of his captive status, and the only consolation for him comes from Dr. Russell’s deaf adopted daughter, who is not afraid of Kong at all despite being so tiny compared to Kong.

And then there comes an offer from Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård), a geologist who has studied on the existence of a big subterranean world termed “the Hollow Earth”. According to him, Kong and many other big monsters including Godzilla were born there, and he wants Kong to lead him and his expedition group to the Hollow Earth. Although she is initially reluctant, Dr. Russell agrees to cooperate with Dr. Lind, and we soon get a rather amusing moment as Kong is being peacefully sailed away to a certain hidden spot in the Antarctic under heavy military protection.

However, Dr. Russell knows too well from the beginning that there is an enormous risk in taking Kong to the world outside. According to those old prehistoric records, Kong was a big rival to Godzilla as often fighting over who would be the No.1 monster in the world, and it is not much of a spoiler to tell you that Godzilla soon appears to meet his old rival again – and that lots of things are mercilessly destroyed here and there thanks to their sheer mutual hostility.

During this intense action sequence and several subsequent ones, the movie bombards us with noises and bangs, but it never loses its sense of fun and humor at all, and director Adam Wingard, who previously directed “You’re Next” (2011) and “The Guest” (2014), and his crew members willingly go all the way for silly fun and thrill to be savored. Yes, you may find yourself concerned about the considerable collateral damages caused by the barbaric clashes between Godzilla and Kong, but the movie thankfully does not go into details on that at least, so we can be amused and thrilled more even when a certain big international city is thoroughly demolished during the climactic scene.

Again, the human characters in the film are mostly insignificant on the whole, but that does not matter much to me this time because I finally come to accept that story and human characters are more or less than secondary elements in this and other big monster movies. Sure, it may show a bit too much of Godzilla and Kong, but restraint is the last thing it needs to say the least, and it surely delivers actions and monsters as much as promised to us.

Because Godzilla and Kong are the main stars of the film, the main cast members in the film dutifully fill their small respective spots without being showy at all. While Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall, and Millie Bobby Brown act as straight as required, Brian Tyree Henry and Julian Dennison are effective as comic relief, and the special mention goes to young performer Kaylee Hottle, who holds her own place well even when sharing the screen with Kong.

In conclusion, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is a satisfying twofer which will certainly entertain you especially if you enjoyed both “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and “Kong: Skull Island”. Yes, it is inherently very busy and noisy just like those Transformers movies, but it has much more wit, style, and energy in comparison, so I surrender to it with no condition.

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