Well, if you’re here because you want to know, is “Godzilla vs. Kong” worth my time, then I think you already know the answer. I mean are you really on the fence? You know what you’re getting into people! So either commit, or don’t get on the roller coaster. Are you expecting to watch this and have insightful long dialogues with your partner into the wee hours of the night about the immorality and audacity of the fictional super corporation Apex who has it out for Godzilla? Are you hoping to pour one more cup of coffee and have a cathartic release about the inexplicable inhumanity with which Kong is treated? If the answer is no, then you may be a candidate to watch this movie. If you’re going to take this ride, I give you this guid map.
Let’s get ready to rumble! The first serious question you’ll want to be asking yourself before you sit down, and open your HBO Max app is, do you have a bong? If not, you may not be ready for the sheer amount of visual stimuli and plot line insanity coming your way. I’m not saying you need drugs to digest this content, but I also won’t advise against it. For example you will be journeying to the center of earth where there’s a gravitational inversion that leads to an alternative ancient world called Hollow Earth where King Kong will find a magical blue axe to use upon his foes. So, yeah, as long as you’re ready for the light show.
To sum up the plot without any major spoilers, the movie is a five year old’s fantasy come true. I have fond memories of being a child, creating elaborate stories that my little plastic heroes were going through, as they battled for justice from the ledge of my wardrobe. I would bash them together with great imagination until one of their arms would fall off. I’d cry, and beg my mom to fetch the Gorilla Glue for a medical emergency. Now imagine my father came in and gave me 160 million dollars to film this same nonsensical choreography and we have “Godzilla vs. Kong.”
Everything from a production stand point is top notch. So much so that there weren’t any of the Sharknado moments of oh my god this is so bad its good, that I was desperately hoping to have. It’s really not bad. Streaming in 4k Dolby Atmos is a delight. It’s a visual feast of nerdy eye candy. A song and dance for the primitive stems of your brain that are screaming, “hit him with the steel chair!” It’s meant to be fun, and with the right attitude it can be.
The lighting and direction is dark, cinematic, and was a little too serious for a movie with such a ridiculous title, but the tone is consistent. All is balanced with a comedic performance from Brian Tyree Henry. He plays a bit of a conspiracy theory whacko who word vomits from his podcast, who just so happens to be on to something very real. Unfortunately for him the only ones willing to stand by his side are a couple of juveniles. Perhaps the funniest line in the film is when Henry’s character Bernie thinks he’s about to die. “I was hoping to die with adults, but okay.”
The kids that accompany Bernie on his journey to discover the secrets behind the corrupt Apex corporation are Julian Dennison and Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, who may be the best actor in the entire film. I don’t mean that as slight, she’s just that talented, even at the age of 17. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed by the character they gave her. She’s on a mission to find the truth, all while being a little more sensitive than most to Godzilla’s natural rights. Her journey to no fault of her own is flat, given the actress and her incredible capabilities. Some of this falls on director Adam Wingard who plays it too safe to ever make the film that engaging. If you’ve ever seen his indie horror film VHS you know he’s more than capable of making interesting choices. Perhaps this is the result of working within the box that is Warner Brothers? Again, you see the coaster from the parking lot, and know exactly where it’s going.
On the other side of the equation is child star Kaylee Hottle who steals the show in terms of emotion. All of your heart strings will be pulled by her in the role of Jai. She is hard of hearing in real life, and in the movie she communicates to King Kong through sign language. She is adorable, so obviously she is exploited to make King Kong do what they want. It’s hard not to feel some emotion when you look into her sad puppy dog eyes, as they chain Kong to an aircraft carrier. Most people are going to quickly gravitate towards our distant cousin Kong. I know I was rooting for him early on in the epic as I recognized his familiar ooh oohs and ah ahs. Godzilla is just a scaly laser shooting reptilian in need of some therapeutic quality lotion. Although my fiancé said he was wildly reminiscent of me when I’m woken up before 10am.
I know what you’re thinking. Wow, what a hater! This guy hates a good time. No, not at all. I smiled for many moments. My eye brows caterpillared upwards in awe of such ferocity. It’s just I became bored with the predictability of an hour and 53 minute story about a freak show wrestling match. I came to the same thought I had when I watched Mike Tyson fight Roy Jones Junior a few months ago at the ripe age of 54, those guys are ancient! The entertainment value is waning by the second. Most of the movie is indeed a fighting match between Kong and Godzilla, and various creatures, some robotic, some prehistoric. So if that’s what you’re into, if that’s the kind of thrill you are looking for, by all means, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! If not, then no amount of Gorilla Glue is going to solve your action figure blues.