Directed by: Adam Wingard
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Demian Bichir, Kaylee Hottle
Runtime: 113 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of creature violence/destruction and brief language.)
Back in 2019, I remember reviewing Godzilla: King of Monsters and it scored 4 stars out of 5. An excerpt from the previous review: “I’d recommend this film. The battles alone are worth the price of admission. Godzilla destroying buildings and Titans alike didn’t get old. Even for a casual fan like myself, it was still enjoyable, and I’d imagine someone deep in Godzilla lore would have a blast. Some plot points and dialogue may sour you, but Godzilla will bring you back….”
4 years later and Godzilla returns. This film had a large amount of hype behind it. It was two classic monsters against each other. Again we had a film released same day on HBO Max. However, I’m happy to say this film CRUSHED it. It made almost 50 million dollars on opening weekend (Easter weekend) and that shows you that people miss going to the movies. I saw it in a large theater and they were right. The battles were AWESOME. My co-reviewer Abby couldn’t make it (I secretly think she’s TEAM GODZILLA) but I was TEAM KONG all the way. Would this film live up to the previous Godzilla entry and 4 stars…
Onto the film.
We open with Kong. He’s “sunbathing” and scratches his butt??? I get this is humor for the kids, but immediately the film came off as cheesy. I know, I know. It’s two monsters fighting each other, but I think back to Kong: Skull Island (previous Kong film) and I don’t remember such blatant watered down moments. We believe Kong is on Skull Island, however, it’s a dome constructed by Monarch (organization to study titans) to keep him contained. We meet the character who stole the show named Kia. She is the last Iwi (Skull Island inhabitant) living and has a hearing impairment using sign language to communicate. It’s clear from the beginning her and Kong have a loving bond.
Meanwhile, we see Apex Cybernetics doing illegal research. A low-level worker named Bernie (Tyree Henry) is a conspiracy theorist and hosts a podcast which Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger things and the last Godzilla film) follows. Obviously there paths will cross. Spoilers but this is the weakest part of the story.
We meet Walter Simmons ( Bichir) the CEO of Apex Cybernetics who has a mission. They believe there is a place called “Hollow Earth.” Essentially the Earth’s core is hollow and this
is where the Titans are from. They need information from this place, or maybe something more sinister. He meets with Dr. Nathan Lind (Skarsgard) who asks him to lead Kong to this area.
NOW things start to pick up. We eventually start seeing Godzilla attack. He destroys facilities, and this adds a sense of urgency to the mission. They need to get to Hollow Earth soon.
Lind (Skarsgard) Dr. Ilene Andrews, (Hall) Jai (Hottle) take Kong. In the process the first real battle ensues. I was hoping the film would shine, but I was disappointed.
The CGI was hit or miss. Towards the end during a night scene the battle works and looks great! Other scenes caused a distraction when the effects weren’t great. The plot with Kong and Godzilla works, but the subplots lack in substance. I understand we are all here to see Godzilla vs. Kong and watch them fight but you get the point where you aren’t really concerned with cast.
We gave Godzilla: King of Monsters: 4 stars. The CGI is hit or miss, and the plot lacking BUT it was fun. I haven’t wanted to cheer in a movie in a long time. I wanted to during this one. I also heard conversations from people leaving the theater whether they were TEAM KONG or GODZILLA. Movies to me have always been a nice escape for a few hours. If you have kids and like action/sci-fi. GO see it, and go in theaters! 4 stars out of 5