Review: ‘Godzilla Vs Kong’ Is Best Seen On The Big Screen

Apr 1, 2021, 7:50 AM | Updated: Apr 2, 2021, 7:59 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Both Godzilla and King Kong have a long history on the big screen.

The original “King Kong” movie in 1933 is now in the national film registry as one of the most significant movies ever made. Godzilla has appeared in more than 32 different movies since he debuted in 1954 in Japan.

These two titans faced each other in a movie once before, in 1962’s “King Kong vs Godzilla,” but it was a stop-motion ape vs a guy in a rubber suit – and it looked the part.

Now, in 2021, we get another larger-than-life battle between the two, and this time it looks just like you would imagine.

“Godzilla vs Kong” continues the shared-universe story that began with the 2014 film “Godzilla” and continued through 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island” and 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

In this new movie, scientists who are studying King Kong are also trying to keep him from being noticed by Godzilla, who is Earth’s unquestioned alpha titan. They believe he would come to assert his dominance.

Well, as you can tell by the title of the movie, that doesn’t last long.

The humans believe that these giant monsters come from the center of the earth, which just so happens to be hollow and the source of some enormous power that they want to harness, and they believe Kong can lead them to it.  When they try and take Kong to the entry point, guess who shows up?

Now, believe it or not, there are some surprises in the movie that I want to avoid spoiling, so I’ll stop there with the plot.

There are a bunch of people in the movie, some of whom you’d recognize: Millie Bobby Brown from “Stranger Things,” Kyle Chandler from “Friday Night Lights,” and Brian Tyree Henry from “Atlanta.” But the humans in this movie are obviously secondary to the main attraction (the massive monster fights). I found most of them really kind of dislikable with the exception of Rebecca Hall’s scientist character and Kaylee Hottle’s young girl who has a connection with Kong.

Nearly all the humans in the movie were completely disposable and, for the most part, they’re ignored.

The reason you’re watching this movie in the first place is the massive monster fights.  And boy, does this movie deliver on those!

Kong and Godzilla themselves look amazing. Kong in particular actually has some believable facial expressions and realistic-looking movements, and when the two behemoths battle it out, the movie definitely gets it right.

So much punching!  So much roaring! But what are you expecting?

This is a total popcorn movie, and I half-expected to hear people cheering the fights like at a boxing match. They battle on land and on sea and each one has moments where you are both amazed and tempted to just laugh at the over-the-top nature of the fights.

I watched it on the IMAX screen at Megaplex Valley Fair, and it was the perfect-sized screen to capture the essence of two giants duking it out.

I’ll admit that I really did not enjoy the previous two movies in the series, but “Godzilla vs Kong” was way more entertaining to me than those others – combined!

As for warnings, it’s rated PG-13 for monster violence and probably language, though there was nothing that I really noticed.

Little kids might get scared by the monsters fighting and maybe the overwhelming intensity and size of everything.

And I mentioned earlier about people maybe cheering the fights. They might have ,but it gets so loud during those scenes that you’d never know what else was happening in the theater.

For grown-ups, the only warning I might give is that it’s probably best to not try and overthink it.  This is what I call a “Sure, Why Not?” movie. Stuff is so over-the-top and ridiculous that you finally stop worrying about what is believable and just say, “Sure. Why not?”

It’s obvious to see that the filmmakers did make an attempt to create some monster-lore and back history for Godzilla, Kong and the other giant creatures you’ve seen in the film series, but the problem is that they don’t make much of an effort to explain it, and so you just don’t care.

It’s kind of like the filmmakers didn’t care about most of the humans in the cast.

But I have to say that I was entertained. This movie is exactly what it looks like.  You’re not going to go see it for some high-and-mighty reason or discuss its nuances at dinner parties (even if we were still allowed to have those). You want to see giant monsters punch and roar and shoot energy beams from their mouths – and that’s exactly what you get!

I give “Godzilla vs Kong” 2 out of 4 stars, but it is definitely an enthusiastic 2 out of 4 stars!

There are two places where you can watch it but only one place where you should watch it.

“Godzilla vs Kong” is available for streaming at home on HBO Max. If you have HBO with your cable or satellite subscription it includes access to HBO Max. If not, you can pay the $14.99-a-month subscription fee and watch it on the app.  But this movie demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible. As I mentioned earlier, I highly recommend you watch this in theaters if you can – preferably in IMAX.

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Review: ‘Godzilla Vs Kong’ Is Best Seen On The Big Screen