#REVIEW: “GODZILLA VS. KONG”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Five years after his last sighting, Godzilla has emerged and attacked the headquarters of a major technology company. With anxieties and fears running at an all-time high, a group of scientists must turn to the only titan left to save them: the giant ape they call Kong.
That is the basic set-up of the GODZILLA VS. KONG battle royale, without mentioning the extended subplot involving “Hollow Earth” and whatever conspiracy tech company Apex Cybernetics has cooked-up. Much like the other films in the Monster-Verse, this one spends an inordinate amount of time with the Human Cast. Brian Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall and especially newcomer Kaylee Hottle all do great with their limited characters, with the rest of the Cast doing what they need to in order to move the Plot forward. To be fair though, any issues with their characters and dialogue are not entirely their faults. Motivations and explanations are vague, and there are callbacks aplenty (including a great reference to Lethal Weapon 2!).
But who cares about the human characters when you have two legendary titans facing off against each other for the first time in nearly 60 years?
Director Adam Wingard (Director of top-notch genre fare such as You’re Next and The Guest) is well aware of the answer to that question, and makes sure to lean into the city crumbling, naval ship destroying battles as much as he possibly can. From the moment Kong first hits Godzilla with his mighty right hook, you know extra care has been taken to ensure these fight scenes soar. Every one of these moments feels special and the way the camera weaves through the destruction they have dealt to themselves and their surroundings is simply spectacular. The sheer level of detail on these CGI characters’ faces, bodies and war wounds is staggering. Wingard even goes a step further by setting all of the action during the day or at night amongst buildings lit up by the brightest neon lights. Gone are the fan complaints of not being able to see anything happening on-screen; you get to see everything and then some. Even the Human Cast notices, often stopping dead in their tracks to watch the mayhem ensuing in front of them (and still completely oblivious to any radiation poisoning they are being exposed to).
I genuinely felt like I was on the rollercoaster ride from hell with the way these fight scenes were choreographed – scored epically by Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) – and I mean that in the best possible way. They are full of life and are so exciting. If hold anything against GODZILLA VS. KONG, it is that the rest of the Film cannot even pretend to keep up with them. I know they needed these moments to build up the stakes, but with how choppy they feel, what would the harm have been in making them more concise?
Thankfully, GODZILLA VS. KONG delivers the goods when it comes to fight scenes between the titular characters. They are big, loud, brutal and exactly what fans have been waiting for. Best of all, they are easy to watch and do not take place entirely in the dark or behind the greyest clouds that have ever existed. So get to the biggest screen you can safely watch on and turn the volume up as loud as it goes. Then sit back, place your bets and marvel at these two titans of cinema duking it out for ultimate supremacy.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release GODZILLA VS. KONG in theatres and Premium Digital and On-Demand on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
*Please ensure you exercise caution in observing COVID-19 protocols if seeing this in-theatre.*