Review: Godzilla vs. Kong
If you are looking for a giant monster flick for movie night with the kids, this is the one you want.
Godzilla vs. Kong is the latest in the ongoing Monster-verse series, because everything has to be part of a universe these days (thanks, Marvel). But you don’t need to see the previous movies to watch this one. In fact, I’d recommend you don’t. Those movies, especially Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island, try to tell more human, character-driven stories and don’t particularly succeed. Even if you like them, your kids probably won’t.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters moves the focus more in the direction of good, old-fashioned monster-on-monster action, but Godzilla vs. Kong is where the series finally finds its sweet spot.
Does it have a good story? No. In fact, it’s barely intelligible and has plots holes big enough to swallow a titan. Something something, evil corporate greedy guy, something something, mumbo jumbo conspiracy, who cares? There are monsters; they fight. They don’t really need a reason.
Who cares it makes no sense to carry King Kong on a aircraft carrier so he can guide them to fantasy Hollow Earth to find some fantasy power source or something? It just means we get to see King Kong fight Godzilla atop and frickin’ aircraft carrier. The movie seems to know you don’t care, either, because the intervening scenes are short and to the point.
The movie revolves around three big fights, where we finally get an answer to that eternal question: who would win? Will it be the smarter, craftier Kong or the pure power and heft of Godzilla? Plus, there’s a bonus round. You won’t be surprised by the structure or outcome if you’ve seen any other hero-vs-hero movies in the last decade, but its not trying to surprise you. Instead, it will delight you with the sheer spectacle, with the over-the-top scale of the action and destruction, with the special effects and bright colors and endless explosions.
It’s a perfect father-son movie. I watched it with my 4-year-old, who’s been obsessed with Godzilla and King Kong ever since he saw some video about them on YouTube. The girls were out of town for the weekend, so we made some popcorn on Saturday night and rented it off Amazon. He loved it. We watched it again the next morning, and then he just had to watch it with his sister when she got home that night. He kept asking me to turn it on to the battleship scene, so we pretty much had it running on loop for a few days. I eventually just bought it.
I don’t even feel bad about it. It’s rated PG-13, but that’s deceiving. Obviously, there is a lot of monster-on-monster violence, but its not at all gory, and it lacks the more personal, human violence that some of the previous entries had. I think I noticed one or two swear words in the whole thing, and there’s not a whiff of sexual content. Saturday morning cartoons are frankly more objectionable.
Go ahead, fire this one up for a boy weekend or a movie night with the kids. As long as you don’t expect too much from the story, you’re sure to come away as with as big a grin as your little boy.