Home Godzilla Vs Kong

Godzilla Vs Kong (12A)

Cast: Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Millie Bobby Brown, Alexander Skarsgard
Genre: Action
Author(s): Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein
Director: Adam Wingard
Release Date: 01/04/2021
Running Time: 113mins
Country: US/Australia
Year: 2021

Five years after Godzilla's battle with King Ghidorah, secret scientific organisation Monarch continues to preempt potential threats to mankind's survival. Without warning, Godzilla attacks an underground facility, drawing attention to the work of Apex Cybernetics. CEO Walter Simmons recruits former Monarch expert Nathan Lind to explore the possibility of a power source hidden within the Earth's core. Kong may hold the key to this bold scientific discovery.

LondonNet Film Review
Godzilla Vs Kong (12A)

Billed as the ultimate showdown between behemoth brawlers from Godzilla: King Of The Monsters and Kong: Skull Island, director Adam Wingard’s overblown monster-mashing smackdown is a ridiculously one-sided affair. Logic, not a quality cherished by screenwriters Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, dictates the outcome when a reptilian contender with atomic breath that cuts through metal like a hot knife through butter rumbles with a chest-beating rival armed with banana breath. Godzilla Vs Kong shamelessly milks affection for the underdog ape with an opening croon of Bobby Vinton’s Over The Mountain, Across The Sea as the hulking primate wakes dreamily on his island idyll, lazily scratches his hirsute haunches and enjoys a bracing shower in a waterfall…

Wingard’s testosterone-fuelled picture is just as one-sided. Bombastic action sequences, choreographed in luscious slow-motion, bludgeon character development and plausible plotting into a coma without resistance. The titular death match is conducted as two eye-popping bouts on sea and land roughly an hour apart, one of which cheerfully asks us to believe that a US Navy aircraft carrier could support the combined weight of the title fighters rampaging on its deck in the Tasman Sea.

“There can’t be two alpha titans,” prophesises anthropologist Dr Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall). It takes almost two hours of fist-pummelling fury to prove her wrong. Dr Andrews works for secret scientific organisation Monarch on Skull Island, safely containing Kong inside a hi-tech dome where her deaf ward Jia (Kayle Hottle) secretly communicates with the prize specimen using sign language. Former Monarch scientist Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard), labelled “a sci-fi quack trading in fringe physics”, implores Ilene to let him transport Kong to Antarctica to prove his crackpot theory about a hollow earth ecosystem at our planet’s core.

The mission is bank-rolled by Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir), chief executive of Apex Cybernetics, who believes this hidden world could unlock a power source to protect mankind from future titan threats. Needless to say, his motives are not as altruistic as the ramshackle script begs us to believe. Meanwhile in a superfluous subplot, spunky teenager Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), daughter of Monarch’s deputy director of special projects (Kyle Chandler), unravels the Apex conspiracy with a wise-cracking classmate (Julian Dennison) and conspiracy theorist podcaster (Brian Tyree Henry).

Godzilla Vs Kong has just one emotional string to its bow, the bond between cherubic Jia and the ape, and scriptwriters Pearson and Borenstein pluck it frantically between impressive yet exhausting set pieces. The introduction of a third challenger to the ring for a tag team finale among Hong Kong’s tumbling skyscrapers cranks up the wanton devastation on an epic scale. The wall of sound of Thomas Holkenborg’s synth score launches a sustained assault on the ears to match the visual blitzkrieg.

– Jo Planter

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