Godzilla vs. Kong Struggles to Build Excitement, Dragged Down by Plot


Marcus Leary, Staff Writer

The pandemic may be on the decline, but there are new monsters rampaging through movie theatres. Godzilla vs. Kong—the latest installment of the Monsterverse franchise—recently launched both in-theaters and via HBO Max.

Godzilla vs. Kong has a simple plot. An evil corporation, Apex Cybernetics, hires a “Hollow Earth” Expert, a King Kong expert, and King Kong to find a power source in the “Hollow Earth” for an undisclosed reason. Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists uncover the reason they were hired.

I never had confidence that Godzilla Vs. Kong was going to be a good movie after I watched 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. I knew that it was going to drop the ball on many important aspects of what fans wanted to see—and it did.

 Fans wanted to see a giant nuclear dinosaur fight a big gorilla for as much time as possible. And while the movie does include these fight scenes, they only take up about 30 minutes of the movie’s two hour runtime. Slowed down by plot development, Godzilla Vs. Kong leaves a lot to be desired, but it wasn’t all bad. 

The colors were amazing. In many scenes, accents of neon lights are used to illuminate the characters in vibrant neon reds, purples, and blues. The sound design is also very good; there are multiple scenes in which King Kong’s thunderous movements are muffled because you are hearing the sound from the perspective of a deaf girl. The cinematography is top-notch and cinematographer Ben Seresin does an incredible job of making the scenes with two enormous CGI beings come to life. The score composed by Tom Holkenborg highlights how menacing Godzilla is and how docile Kong wants to be. Most of the comedic relief comes from the Godzilla storyline, but the comedic relief is truly funny. 

Of course, the most astounding aspect of this movie is the CGI. 15 visual effects studios worked on this movie and they did a very good job. Godzilla and Kong are both CGI and they realistically interact with CGI water and CGI buildings. The nighttime fight in Hong Kong is amazing. The two powerhouses, Godzilla and Kong, are fighting at the same level as all of the buildings around them, and the close-ups of the fighters are highlighted by the neon blues, pinks, greens, and reds. Their actual fight scene is illuminated by these same lights. The fight itself is an actual fight, unlike their previous fight, between the two monsters that leaves them battered and bruised.

Sadly, Godzilla Vs. Kong’s pros don’t outweigh its cons. Yes, it has a tacked-on story and bad flow, but it’s more than that. It sets up a scene and then completely abandons it. There are multiple times during the movie where we get an exposition dump, but the exposition cuts to a news report instead. It sets up characters that we have never met before in the Monsterverse and then instead of telling us who they are and why they are important, the movie just hints at why they are crucial to the plot. In addition, the movie has a weak plot that might be acceptable if it didn’t take up two-thirds of the film, and has an unfulfilling ending that is reminiscent of Batman vs. Superman. The ending feels like it was written so more movies could be made—even though most of the Monsterverse movies weren’t received well by audiences. Even the fight scenes are lackluster and don’t deliver what the audience was expecting. One of the three fights between Godzilla and Kong is less of a fight and more of a beat down. 

Overall, Godzilla Vs. Kong is nowhere near a masterpiece of cinema but it is a fun family-friendly movie that gives a few hearty chuckles. I give it a 6 out of 10.