“Godzilla vs. Kong”: An action movie through and through


Warner Bros.

BEAUTIFULLY CHAOTIC: Intricate CGI and gorgeous sceneries make the fights between the two titans that much more exciting.

Parashar Bharadwaj, Staff Writer

Enormous ape fights giant lizard monster. What more could you ask for? Director Adam Wingard’s “Godzilla vs. Kong” sounded fantastic on paper and translated just as well on the big screen with a spectacular showing of special effects.

The film begins with the giant ape Kong waking from his slumber in the verdant forest of Kong Skull Island. As he wades through water scratching his rear end to the sound of Elvis Presley’s “Loving Arms,” we hear the lyric, “Over the mountain, a girl waits for me.” The girl in question is Jia (Kaylee Hottle), an indigenous, deaf young lady who has a deep connection with Kong. Magnificently played by Hottle, the two’s relationship blossoms throughout the film through the use of sign language. But soon enters Godzilla, the misunderstood nuclear lizard. Godzilla attacks massive tech corporation Apex Cybernetics seemingly out of the blue, and the only way to beat him is with the power from Hollow Earth, a theory which proposes that the Earth contains a habitable interior space. Kong is released from Kong Skull Island to help Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) and Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) reach Hollow Earth, and Kong’s safety is instantly in jeopardy. The rest of the movie is a collection of their massive battles and destructive tussles.

Like any over-the-top action movie, the film struggles with plot and character development. With minimal lines and short scenes, the talent of actors like Demián Bichir and Millie Bobby Brown are stifled and they struggle to expand out of their roles and create a meaningful plot. However, this is somewhat understandable—audience members paid to see a massive monkey fight a laser lizard, not humans chatting and arguing.

Regardless of the negligence of the humans in the movie, the human characteristics of Godzilla and Kong make up for it. We see that Kong misses his family, is fearful and capable of kindness as well, as seen in his scenes with Jia. On the other hand, we learn that Godzilla dreads losing his throne as the king of monsters to a monster made in Apex Cybernetics. These ideals give us a reason for their constant brawls and encounters, and the movie’s special effects envision their clashes impressively.

Unlike 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (KOTM), the CGI team from “Godzilla vs. Kong” does an immaculate job of pitting the two titans against each other in surreal sets. In KOTM, indistinguishable night fights and out of-focus cameras were the norm. No matter how good the story could have been, the underachieving graphics made the movie unenjoyable and frustrating, considering that the movie’s main characters and all major action scenes relied on the use of CGI. But “Godzilla vs. Kong” is a major step up. From the middle of the ocean to the streets of Hong Kong, the attention to detail is commendable. We can see the emotions in both titans’ faces, count Kong’s beard hairs and see the evil in Godzilla’s destructive eyes. The special effects are really what makes the movie enjoyable—without it, the movie wouldn’t have much to show for.

Similar to franchises like The Fast and the Furious and the Transformers series, “Godzilla vs. Kong” knows exactly what it wants to be: a movie filled with nonsensical, logic-defying action that keeps you on the edge of your seat. For action fans, this movie is for you: the nearly two-hour run time of this movie will go by in a heartbeat.