By: Kevin Jordan
It was everything I thought it could be.
This movie is what I have been missing for the past year. Big, loud, dumb blockbusters that promise one thing. Prior to this, Wonder Woman 84 was supposed to be that movie, except not the dumb part. Of course, WW84 turned out to just be dumb. Then, WandaVision was released on Disney+ and filled that blockbuster void. Well, for seven episodes at least. The last two episodes were blah followed by are you fucking kidding me? But that’s another story. Now, we get Godzilla vs. Kong, the epitome of big, loud, and dumb. A giant lizard fights a giant ape. If it was anything but big, loud, and dumb, I would be annoyed.
In all seriousness, I was a little annoyed for approximately forty minutes, or, the amount of time it took for Godzilla and King Kong to actually fight. I understand that they had to do some plot development and introduce some characters and…nope, I can’t even finish that sentence. This is the fourth movie in Legendary’s and Warner Brothers’ so-called MonsterVerse. We really don’t need more than five, maybe ten minutes of intro before they start fighting. And it was not just me. My eight-year old son kept asking when something was going to happen. Yes, I was egging him on, but he wanted to see the monsters fight much more than I did.
And why were they going to fight? Much like Batman v Superman, their reason for fighting has to be wildly contrived. Even in movies about superheroes or movies featuring gigantic monsters living in Hollow Earth. Yeah, I forgot about that stupidity as well. Why do the screenwriters feel the need to explain why we never saw the giant monsters before? It’s just, well, dumb. Only three people give a shit and this movie had five writers. You do the math. But I digress. My point is that previous films portrayed both Godzilla and King Kong as heroes saving humanity. So, why are they fighting again?
Because alphas just gotta alpha. In other words, there can be only one Highlander. As Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) helpfully explains to Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard), “there can be only one alpha titan.” This is her reasoning for refusing to allow King Kong off of Skull Island, as if that was somehow an option and as if Godzilla has a Twitter account labeled #allalphasmustdie #aftermoviethree. According to Dr. Andrews, if Kong ever left the island, Godzilla would immediately detect and kill Kong. Say what now? Are you suggesting the cloud that surrounded Skull Island was some sort of magical barrier that blocks Godzilla’s alpha radar? And, even if that were true, doesn’t Godzilla only attack bad alphas? You know we saw Mothra in the last movie not get attacked by Godzilla, right?
Here is where the real contrivance comes in. The film starts with Godzilla attacking an Apex research center. Everyone is flabbergasted and Godzilla is immediately labeled an enemy of the state. Keep in mind, this is despite everyone plainly knowing that Godzilla only shows up to destroy existential threats to humanity. I told you – dumb. Anyway, the CEO of Apex (Demian Bichir) convinces Dr. Lind to go convince Dr. Andrews to convince King Kong to go to Antarctica and show them how to reach Hollow Earth, otherwise known as the mystical world at the center of the Earth invented by Jules Vern. Wow, it sounds even dumber when I say it out loud.
As Dr. Andrews predicted, the moment Kong leaves the island (somehow manacled to a giant barge), Godzilla makes a beeline for them. And, without further ado – ado being thirty to thirty-five minutes – Godzilla and Kong fight. And it was glorious. A year, everybody. That’s how long we’ve gone without something like this. Several minutes of Godzilla destroying aircraft carriers and battleships and King Kong jumping from ship to ship like a giant Frogger and the two of them smashing into each other and fire-breath and elbow drops and chest pounding and RAWWWRRRRRR!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.
Did more happen in this movie? I think so, but I was savoring the near-death match so much that I barely cared what was happening between then and the next hopefully-death match. Something about an evil corporation and the girl from Stranger Things (Millie Bobby Brown) being able to practically waltz into a high security facility with her friend and a conspiracy theorist in tow. My attention refocused when they finally revealed the real villain that Godzilla and Kong would inevitably team up against after fighting each other again. And, again, glorious. I was just so happy. Everything I had missed for a year was there – big, loud, and, especially, dumb.
Rating: Don’t ask for any money back for those three reasons.