This Monster Clash is a Popcorn Smash
Chris Kavan - wrote on 04/09/21
After a full year of mostly empty theaters and very few "big" movies, Godzilla vs. Kong has been the first true blockbuster in a long time. And why not? The film has everything you expect from a popcorn flick: giant monsters beating the crap out of each other, lots of explosions, humor, precocious children, questionable physics, questionable ethics and monsters beating the crap out of human hubris. I mean - yes - this is exactly the type of movie we need to usher people back into normalcy.
Godzilla vs. Kong is the kind of film that isn't deep, but is pure entertainment. A sequel to both Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, we enter a brave new world were Kong is kept in a giant habitat (one he seems quite eager to escape) in order to avoid the wrath of Godzilla, who has been keeping a low profile since taking down all the other so-called Titans (including the three-headed King Ghidorah) in the last film. But the peace is shattered when he suddenly emerges and takes out one of Apex Cybernetics facilities in Pensacola, Florida. Apex head Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) decides the best way to counter this is the find the ultimate power source and draw him out - but to do so will require another Titan, Kong and a person to navigate down to the hollow Earth world.
Thus we get our threads - Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) has been working on communicating with Kong, enlisting the help of one of the last surviving natives, a deaf girl Jia (Kaylee Hottle) who has a connection to the great ape. Meanwhile, Nathan Lind, disgraced pioneer of the hollow Earth theory, is trying to get by after losing his entire team, including his brother, to a catastrophic accident when trying to reach the mythic land. But Simmoons has an ace up his sleeve, a newly-designed H.E.A.V vehicle that can withstand the gravitational fluctuations and reach the hollow Earth, but he's not that trusting, sending his daughter, Maia (Eiza González) to oversee things. Thus the team must transport Kong to Antarctica and down to the hollow Earth, knowing full well that he will draw out Godzilla as the two races seem to share and ancient grudge.
As a complete aside to the main action, we also have a conspiracy theorist who runs his own podcast, Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) who has enthralled Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), daughter of Monarch head Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler). This is the levity the film need between giant monsters duking it out and cities (well, mostly just Hong Kong) exploding. Russell enlists the help of a friend, Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison) and the trio find themselves in over their heads while investigating what Apex is really doing.
Of course, it all comes down to one, final battle - with a special guest star (it has been spoiled before, but I'll leave it alone) and enemies must team up and form a grudging partnership to ensure both survive. But it's fun getting to that point - and we get a definitive answer to who would win in the giant monster brawl.
Godzilla vs. Kong is not a game-changer, but it is a fun action film with intense battles, humor and, yes, even some heart. It's pure popcorn fun - but that's kind of what we need at this moment and hopefully it helps spur some vigor into what has been a long year of depressing results.