With theaters closing down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost the spectacle of a true summer blockbuster. But 2021’s “Godzilla vs. Kong” was exactly that, a spectacle. This movie is the fourth installment in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, following 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” The story pits two of the biggest stars in cinema history, Japan’s famous lizard monster, Godzilla, and the Eighth Wonder of the World, King Kong, against one another.
If this film could be described in one word, it would be BIG. The monsters are big, the fights are big, and the destruction is big. The movie doesn’t have the most thought-provoking story, but it does have a nice self awareness to it, understanding that movie goers don’t go to a monster movie because they expect it to have a brilliant script. Though there are a pair of mildly confusing human-based plot lines following characters played by Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, and Alexander Skarsgård that drive the story forward, it is clear that they only exist to set up the next monster fight.
What it lacks in things like plot and character development it makes up for in spades with its action. The film is visually stunning, with vibrant colors and lifelike CGI. The multiple fights between the titular characters deliver on everything fans could have wanted from a movie like this. It strikes the perfect balance between realism and fan service. The audience isn’t concerned with how ridiculous it looks when King Kong jumps across boats in the middle of the ocean to avoid Godzilla’s atomic breath, they’re just worried about the outcome of the fight. The sound mixing also adds to the immersion. When Godzilla stomps through Hong Kong, you can feel it in your chest, and when he screams, it is deafening. This is definitely the kind of movie best watched at an IMAX theater rather than at home on a laptop.
“Godzilla vs. Kong” won’t be winning any Oscars for its writing or directing, but for movie-goers who want to sit back and enjoy a fun action movie about two monsters fighting, this could be a great choice for their first movie back in theaters.