Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and DC Universe clarified once and for all that creating a movie series and fusing together popular characters from different movies is a good formula. Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures may have been inspired by this and created MonsterVerse. After three films were released, they are “Godzilla” , “Hong Kong: Skull Island”  and “Godzilla”: “King of Monsters” . . The trailer received an overwhelming response, and the memes and jokes caused by the epic battles in the film also prompted the film to hype. The same goes for GODZILLA VS. KONG managed to give the audience a very interesting time? Still impressed? Let’s analyze it.
Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields’s story is entertaining and has all the ingredients of a grand, cinematic spectacle. Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein’s screenplay is highly effective. The focus is firmly kept on the battle between the two monsters and the build-up. A few human characters don’t get the deserved screen space but the writers compensate for it to some extent by giving some excellent scenes to the track of Jia and that of Bernie, Madison and Josh. Dialogues contribute a lot to the humour, especially in the track of Bernie.
Adam Wingard’s direction is simple and commercial. He makes the whole experience palatable for all kinds of viewers, especially for the masses and family audiences. What’s praiseworthy is that he packs in a lot in just 113 minutes. Though both monsters come face to face for a limited time, the build-up is done in a superb fashion. Also once they start fighting, viewers get totally involved. In fact, he has ably handled the climax and it is sure to give a paisa vasool experience to the viewers. On the flipside, to see Godzilla as the villain might not go down well with a section of viewers, especially those who have been emotionally invested with the monster in the previous MonsterVerse films. Secondly, in the process of keeping the focus on Godzilla and Kong, the villain track suffers. The antagonists hardly get time to shine. As a result, their back story and their character motivation are never explained properly. Not just them, even the characters of Dr Ilene and Dr Lind suffer from weak characterization. Lastly, it’s bewildering to see how soon Kong is allowed to leave Skull Island and travel to Antarctica. Knowing the dangers that Kong has in the open sea from Godzilla, a few minutes should have been spent to show Monarch and Apex management discussing the pros and cons of the mission.
Godzilla vs. Kong is the story of the conflict between two titans. This is the daily activity of Apex Cybernetics in Pensacola, Florida. Suddenly, Godzilla attacked the company’s facilities without any provocation and caused massive damage. Until now, Godzilla is still regarded as the savior of mankind, but this episode made him a villain in the world. At the same time, on Skull Island, King Kong was locked in a wide wall by the monarch. Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) works as an anthropological linguist at the facility. She has been trying her best to communicate with Kong and understand his behavior. She was surprised when she discovered that one day her adopted daughter, Kaylee Hottle, managed to establish contact with King Kong and communicate with him. Based on his research and a book about Titans, Apex’s heads Ren Serizawa (Shun Oguri) and Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) hired Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård). Ren and Walter plan to lure Godzilla into the hollow earth through a hole in Antarctica, and then destroy him there. The rivalry between Godzilla and Kongsi is very old. They believe that if they manage to get Kongsi into the hollow ground, Godzilla will follow suit and achieve the goal. The monarch soon approved the taking of Kong to Antarctica for missions. Kong was tied up and taken into a huge ship. Ilene, Jia, Dr. Nathan and Apex’s top executive Maia Simmons (Eiza González) also accompanied Kong on board. Dr. Irene ordered a detour so that they would not pass Godzilla’s usual route while at sea. However, Godzilla senses the existence of Kong and attacks the ape. Kong managed to save himself, but was seriously injured. With Jia’s help, he managed to recover. At the same time, in Florida, Apex employee Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) is podcasting, and he told listeners on the broadcast that the company’s situation is not ideal. He found fans among the daughters of Madison (Millie Bobby Brown), monarch scientist Mark (Kyle Chandler) and the late Emma Russell (Emma Russell). She tried to track Bernie. Bernie shared with her that a mysterious cargo will be sent to the Apex Complex in Hong Kong. To learn more, they sneaked into the almost destroyed Apex factory in Pensacola, Florida. Madison’s nerd friend Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison) also joined these two projects. What happened next constitutes the rest of the film.
GODZILLA VS. KONG begins on a very sweet note and the tone suddenly changes into a shocking one as we realize that though Kong is roaming free in Skull Island, he’s actually caged from all sides. The attack on the Apex facility in Florida sets the mood. Much of the first hour is spent on introducing the characters, their motives and of course, the grand voyage in the sea with Kong. The first battle between Godzilla and Kong is highly entertaining. But the first half is not just about thrill and action. The emotional bond between Kong and Jia is sweet and adds a lot to the film’s appeal. Post-interval, a lot of unanswered questions get answered. Kong’s experience in Hollow Earth and Antarctica is also something to watch out for. But as expected, the best is reserved for the finale. The climax battle is epic in a lot of ways. The film ends on a completely justified note.
Speaking of performances, Rebecca Hall underplays her part very well. She gives her best even though her character is not fully developed. Kaylee Hottle is like the soul of the film. She expresses beautifully with her eyes and expressions and all her scenes are memorable. Alexander Skarsgård is fine and gets very limited scope. Brian Tyree Henry is highly entertaining as the talkative conspiracy theorist. He gets to mouth some of the best lines in the film. Millie Bobby Brown puts up a confident act. Julian Dennison is entertaining. Shun Oguri and Demián Bichir are okay as the villain. Shun Oguri plays a character named Serizawa and probably this means he’s probably related to Ishirō Serizawa, the Monarch hero who sacrificed his life in GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS. But this connection is not mentioned in the film, not even for a second. Kyle Chandler essays the part from the previous film in the series and this time, his role is limited to that of a cameo. Eiza González suits the part.
Junkie X L’s music score is thrilling. The Sound mixing also enhances the entertainment by many notches. Ben Seresin’s cinematography is stunning and adds to the fun and madness. Tom Hammock and Owen Paterson’s production design is rich and superior, just as the film demanded. Ann Foley’s costumes are realistic. Action is just right and thankfully, it’s neither too gory nor violent. VFX is one of the pillars of the film. The special effects are out of the world and one can see that the attempt has been to go one level up as compared to other films of the series. Hence, this time, Kong’s expressions are even more detailed and vibrant. At the same time, the destruction of the city in the climax is also quite extreme and unbelievable. Josh Schaeffer’s editing is razor sharp as the film moves at a quick speed.
On the whole, GODZILLA VS. KONG is a paisa vasool entertainer which would be best enjoyed on the big screen. The film is laced with a great story and build-up and the climax battle between the monsters is amazing. At the box office, the film has taken the best start for any film since the lockdown, despite it being a mid-week release. In the days to come, it’s sure to attract more and more family and mass audiences. The rise in the Covid cases may have some negative impact but the opening has made it clear that the impact will be minimal.