Godzilla vs. Kong is a nonstop epic cinematic event with relentless action that grabs audiences and never lets up. Adam Wingard’s latest film is the textbook definition of a film that should only be seen in theaters. Even in this day and age of big televisions and state-of-the-art sound, somethings just can’t be duplicated. Wingard clearly seems to understand what his predecessors did not.
Fans aren’t headed to a film sent in the monsterverse seeking to gain background knowledge on these titans. There is a distinct difference between setting up a showdown and bringing matters to a screeching halt. Godzilla: King of the Monsters gave us too much information about the origins of this epic creature. We don’t need a history lesson! Kong: Skull Island suffered from the same issues at times. The action became secondary, and that is not the case in Godzilla vs. Kong. Even in the setup to the epic showdown between these two creatures, the sequences are far more visually stunning and elaborate than the previous two films.
The film isn’t one showdown after another, but screenwriters Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein are very aware of why people are paying to see the film. The set pieces between the characters in the film are minimal and serve as transition pieces from gigantic brawl to the next. Although those moments are at times brief, the addition of Jia (Kaylee Hottle) was a stroke of genius. Seeing how this child and the iconic Kong connect injected much-needed heart amongst the thrashing and rage. Brian Tyree Henry and Millie Bobby Brown portrayals of Bernie and Madison inject just enough humor to provide the film with balance.
Of course, every film of this genre needs an obvious villain, and in Godzilla vs. Kong, that’s Apex CEO Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) who seems driven to prove that man is the Apex species. What could a technological mogul come up with that can even compete with the power of either of these titans? Can you say Mechagodzilla? Simmons believes that if his creature is supercharged enough that no monster will stand a chance. But where does one come across that type of power? Perhaps, in Hollow Earth (where these monsters first originated from).
That is where Godzilla vs. Kong begins to take on a Journey to the Center of the Earth tone, which never overshadows the film’s purpose. Junkie XL’s score and the creative camera work only enhance the film’s most tense moments. Adam Wingard’s take on Godzilla vs. Kong should remind us all just how special the cinematic experience can be. Based on how the film has performed overseas, it might just be what’s needed to awaken a box-office that’s been a COVID-induced slumber for the past year.