Godzilla vs Kong – movie review

Two apex predators go head-to-head with an extra surprise thrown in for good measure in Godzilla vs Kong. It’s a battle that goes back generations and most interest lies in who will emerge victorious.

Several story lines come together in the film. First up, Kong is being monitored around the clock on Skull Island, but has clearly outgrown his surroundings. Second, a signal has gone out to his arch enemy, Godzilla, and it seems only a matter of time before the pair will clash. So, Kong needs to be moved for his own good. And then there is the megalomaniacal head of a major technology corporation – Apex – Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir), who has nefarious designs on tapping into a mega power source. He solicits the services of a discredited geologist, Dr Nathan Lind (Alexander Skårsgard).

That scientist teams up with a former colleague, Dr Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), who is intent on looking after Kong. She is also adoptive and protective mother to a mute orphan girl, Jia (Kaylee Hottle), who has a special connection with Kong. Further, a lowly engineer with Apex Corporation, Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry), is a conspiracy theorist who has been broadcasting via his own podcast for the past five years. He is convinced Apex is up to no good. One of those who listens to him and believes him is Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), the daughter of respected scientist Dr Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler). Bernie Hayes and Madison Russell go on their own journey with her friend Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison) trying to find the source of Godzilla’s erratic behaviour.

So, here we have a double creature feature with some spectacular, effects-driven clashes between the pair. The key human element is the relationship between Kong and Jia. Kaylee Hottle makes a good fist of that. There’s also a pleasant familiarity with a number of the characters for those who saw Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019. The storyline in Godzilla vs Kong is reasonably predictable, save for the one element introduced a significant way into the film, which I am not about to reveal.

Part of the joy is picking a side – are you a Godzilla fan or a Kong fan? I vote the latter, so I predictably had far more connection with Kong than with Godzilla.  A younger audience should find bits and pieces to enjoy in Godzilla vs Kong, but I wasn’t all that impressed by it.

Alex First

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