Godzilla vs. Kong is exactly what the title describes, a movie about two beloved and iconic movie monsters fighting on screen once more for a new generation of audiences. Directed by Adam Wingard, a popular director in the horror genre, Godzilla vs. Kong delivers titan-sized action and destruction.
The movie stars Alexander Skarsgård and Millie Bobby Brown as its lead human characters. Their performances fit the tone of the movie and they work for what it is trying to be. Other performances are also up to par, never quite showing brilliant skills, but rather offering entertaining portrayals that only serve to carry the plot.
Most, if not all, characters in the movie are mere caricatures of existing movie tropes. There are big villainous corporations, children that seem to understand everything that is happening better than adults, comic relief and worried parents. No character offers something audiences have never seen before. Yet, the movie is clearly not about the characters as they have no arcs or character development. At its heart, this movie is solely about two monsters fighting and not much else.
Although there are some interesting subplots that draw from Jules Verne and H.P. Lovecraft, they take a backseat as soon as they serve their purpose, which is usually to get characters from point A to point B and offer some impressive computer generated visuals. Any nuance or alternative storylines realistically go nowhere and are only there to bring Godzilla and Kong together.
The movie attempts to develop, or at least bring to mind, themes of industrialization and the effect of human interference in nature. Nonetheless, any themes the movie tried to explore fall flat or are too on- the-nose to be taken seriously. Ultimately, the only depths this movie reaches are not as deep as a giant lizard fighting a giant ape.
However, when it comes to action, the movie promises on what it delivers and so much more. Action sequences are well thought-out and orchestrated. The cinematography by Ben Seresin, someone used to big budget action movies, captures everything perfectly and even offers a few memorable shots. The camera captures the gigantic magnitude of the action successfully, convincing audiences of the size and power of the monsters on screen. Fight scenes are impressive and incredibly entertaining. More than once can audiences forget about characters or storytelling in order to marvel at the two creatures fighting.
It is clear from the get-go that this movie is not trying to be anything other than a computer generated spectacle where audiences can watch two well recognized monsters fight each other. This movie accomplished everything it set out to achieve, but there is so much the movie just decided not to do. The movie did not fail at character development, for example, because it never attempted to depict any. In this regard, it is not easy to decide if the movie is good or not.
Nonetheless, for fans of action and creature feature movies, this movie will have everything they could want. Fans of movies with more content will be left disappointed. Nevertheless, the fact that some people will be left disappointed is not enough to say this movie is not a good movie.
Godzilla vs. Kong lacks substance, any resemblance of memorable or important characters and it has a very shallow exploration of any themes and a plot that is outrageous at times. Nonetheless, having any of these elements would have made the movie even worse. This movie is, at its best, a celebration of big action movies and creature features, with several nods to its predecessors. It is big action fun with a couple of surprises and memorable moments that are enough to entertain viewers and offer quality action-movie filmmaking.