The fourth installment in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, Godzilla vs. Kong, is somewhat a mix of all that we have seen in the franchise so far. The scale of the battle and the grandeur definitely make it a grand theatre experience, and at the same time, the exhausting level of CGI fight that happens over a simplistic storyline feels tedious. With the visual effects and the sound design making it an immersive experience, Godzilla vs. Kong works occasionally and bores you rarely.
After an unprecedented attack by Godzilla, a tech organization named Apex is trying to find a mysterious power source at the center of the earth. For that, they need a similar monster’s help, and no points for guessing; Kong is that bait. Kong is in search of his true home. What we see in Godzilla vs. Kong is the fight between the alpha male Godzilla and the next powerful force Kong. The mysteries behind Apex and the interference of some other mighty forces make the story engaging.
The problem and highlight of the movie is its dependency on the scale. If you take out the huge-scale CGI fight that quite literally demolishes the whole of Hong Kong, there isn’t a compelling drama in the story. The connection between Jia and Kong is perhaps the only sentimental bit in the movie, but that too felt like a familiar trait in these kinds of films. And the balancing of the film between the two titular characters is also uneven. Godzilla is more like a villain for a significant chunk of the script, and it is almost like Batman vs. Superman (or Malayalam Twenty-Twenty) where even though the title or setup seems to have created this rift between iconic characters, but we do know that eventually there will be a team work.
Adam Wingard maintains the visual texture of the Godzilla films in this one too. But like I said, the writing is not trying to give an intricate feel to the story. You can kind of see things coming as we have seen similar drama in stories of this scale. And Godzilla vs. Kong repeats that structure. They are trying to include multiple tracks involving multiple characters, but the blending feels a bit off. The use of CGI is extensive in the movie, and if you look at the technical side of it, it looks brilliant. Like the other Godzilla movies, after a point, the clash becomes very exhausting, and it’s a bit vague too. The visuals are on the darker side, making the ambiance intense and misty.
In a movie with two CGI-generated monsters playing the main lead, the actors are more like supporting characters. Alexander Skarsgard plays the role of Dr. Nathan Lind, who heads the expedition along with Kong and the Apex team. Millie Bobby Brown, as Madison Russell, has her own track in the movie, but it doesn’t feel like a predominant part with great significance. Rebecca Hall, Eiza Gonzalez, Kyle Chandler, Brian Tyree Henry, and a few more names are there in the cast whose characters are not necessarily memorable.
In comparison to Godzilla: the King of Monsters, Godzilla vs. Kong has a bit more variety to offer. But the inherent destructive tone of the franchise is always making the movie look like chaos. Visual grandeur is definitely there, which obviously makes it that popcorn entertainer. But that compelling feel is missing in the narrative.
Visual grandeur is definitely there, which obviously makes it that popcorn entertainer. But that compelling feel is missing in the narrative.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended