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'Godzilla vs. Kong' Is a Fun Monster Movie That 100 Percent Lives Up to Its Title

By Stephen Douglas
Apr 1, 2021, 11:08 AM EDT
King Kong and Godzilla
King Kong and Godzilla | United Archives/Getty Images
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Godzilla vs. Kong is currently available on HBO Max. If my Twitter timeline is any indication - and it almost always is - this is an incredibly important cultural event. I watched it last night and can confirm that it is a star-studded ensemble buddy monster road trip movie full of literal twists and turns. Without giving a single thing away I am confident saying that if the title of the movie sounds like something you would be interested in, you should enjoy it. Having said that, spoilers ahead, nerds.

While the title of the movie is intentionally vague and early reviews didn't give anything away, I'm comfortable reporting that the movie does in fact feature multiple clashes between Godzilla and [King] Kong. Like, these two guys fight multiple times. There are some real knockdown dragged-out monster slobberknockers. It's fitting that the movie treats this rivalry like a trilogy throughout the film because this is the actual UFC heavyweight championship now. The only real difference is that the monsters are fairly paid.

The movie opens with King Kong waking up and doing a morning routine (Celebs! They're just like us!). Kong has a real retired action star who is itching for ONE LAST JOB vibe. Then he throws a tree through the sun and it's revealed that he's living in a Truman Show situation. Having not seen any of the previous films - there are three! - this was quite a reveal before the opening credits.

For people who have seen the first three films in the Lengedary MonsterVerse, it probably wasn't that big of a deal. Nor was the fact that Godzilla and King Kong apparently met in this film because of the results of previous movies where they made their way through a March Madness-type bracket. Does the winner get a ticket to The Mortal Kombat?

Chalkzilla.
Chalkzilla.

Ha! See that caption? "Chalkzilla?" That's good stuff.

From there they start transporting King Kong, which is like half the movie. Just giant boats and nets and a shitload of sedatives. King Kong must have been smoking that Greg Kelly GRASS the way he kept waking up days later across the world.

Did I mention there were people in this movie? There are. Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, Lance Reddick, and Demián Bichir. I even know who most of those people are. And they all gave fine performances in roles that all could have been just as effective with one line apiece. Or less.

I mean, Eleven and Paper Boi literally only exist so a third person can dump liquid on a computer at a critical moment. Their entire storyline could have been replaced by a cup falling over because Godzilla bumped a building with his tail. About as much is true of every other character, but most people understood that, which is nice.

The only person in the entire cast who needed to exist was Kaylee Hottle, the child who did not actually speak a line of diologue. She communicated with King Kong through sign language and pointed to places he should go. Everyone else was worthless, no matter how convincingly they delivered their lines.

""What the hell is that thing?""

one of the characters or me

But none of that matters. The fights were cool. The movie was beautiful. Lights and fights and monsters. Godzilla gets his ass beat by a Botzilla until King Kong gets a nuclear defibrillator. Enemies become friends. The monsters do many, many MMA moves. It was a little disappointing that Kong and Godzilla didn't do a little fist pump or hold each other's hands up to let the fans know they both champs after the final battle, but no movie will ever be perfect, right?

In the end I guess the real monsterverse was the kaijus we killed along the way.

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