Movie review: Godzilla Vs. Kong
Big. Daft. Fun.
That is all I asked for and Godzilla Vs. Kong, opening in cinemas here today, delivers in spades – it's the big ape versus the radioactive lizard done right.
It is the fourth film in the recent cinematic universe (after 2019's Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, 2017's Kong: Skull Island and 2014's Godzilla), and finally, they have realised we do not care about humans.
The skinbags get screen time but we thankfully do not have to spend much time with their problems and feelings like we did in the first two Godzilla monster flicks.
Instead, we are treated to the best monster movie in years.
The other big difference is that when it comes to the fights, we are deep in the action.
Previous instalments have been too beholden to the idea of the majesty of these giants slowly lumbering into each other, half-hidden by dust and cloud.
Director Adam Wingard – who helmed 2014's underrated The Guest and the Netflix version of Death Note – treats Godzilla and Kong as action stars. If you have Tom Cruise fight Brad Pitt, you want to see them close-up.
And we get in close as they grapple with each other in vivid colour. They move like they mean it.
It gets to the point where a showdown in a neon-drenched Hong Kong (looking more pinball machine than city) feels so much like a WWE match, you half-expect someone to scream "It's Kong with a metal chair!" and Kong to run in and whack Godzilla with a giant folded seat.
If this sounds silly, well, yes. That is what is great about it.
The fight even contains tributes to *that* meme from the 1962 King Kong Versus Godzilla, and an inconic moment from Lethal Weapon 2.
Millie Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry and Julian Dennison have a bit of Scooby gang snooping to do, looking into the sinister shenanigans of Demian Bichir's billionaire (who looks uncannily like a young clone of Brian Cox).
Rebecca Hall and Alexander Skarsgard earnestly guide Kong in an effort to find the Hollow Earth.
The star human, though, is Kaylee Hottle as Jia, the young girl who has a connection to the giant gorilla, which gives this movie the right amount of heart.
Is this latest sequel perfect? Of course not. It is still a B-movie (albeit in the best way possible).
It has a plot hole Godzilla himself could skip through, some of the effects are wobbly, to say the least and Godzilla fans may feel irked that Kong gets more screen time.
Yet, it is everything you would want in this face-off - kaiju-size entertainment worth catching on the biggest screen possible.
MOVIE: Godzilla Vs. Kong
STARRING: Rebecca Hall, Alexander Skarsgard, Kaylee Hottle, Demian Bichir, Brian Tyree Henry, Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison
DIRECTOR: Adam Wingard
THE SKINNY: Godzilla has attacked seemingly without provocation and now looks to be heading for Kong as the lone challenger to his alpha title. But is there more to the massive sea monster’s erratic behaviour?