Godzilla vs. Kong’: A colossus clash of pop culture that gives us everything that should be demanded of a giant monster movie
The viewer afin to giant monster movies is absolutely right in the world if he decides to approach with caution and skepticism this new reincarnation of classic kaiju stories. Immediate precedents (i.e. those produced by Legendary and presenting plot continuity with this new battle) have not always shone at high altitude, perhaps with the sole exception of the superb ‘Kong: Skull Island’.
‘Godzilla'(2014) was almost an emotional drama with a giant monster in the background, very in the style of indie revelation that gave fame to its director, ‘Monsters’. The scale of his saurio and the overwhelming (but sparse) sequences of destruction, however, were memorable. ‘Kong: Skull Island’ (2017) was round, a film with multiple readings, almost an ‘Apocalypse Now’ with a giant monkey, and with an absolutely vibrant development of action and characters. Its director, by the way, is now engaged in the adaptation of ‘Metal Gear Solid’.
The most irregular of the three is the most recent, and most argumental to this:’Godzilla: King of Monsters’ (2019) was a small mismatch, with undoubted successes derived from its impressive monster plot, but with the focus too much on human conflicts, decidedly, far from what interests the viewer of such a film. Luckily, this new ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ looks more like ‘Skull Island’ than the other radioactive saurio movies.
This time, the action revolves around the search for the Hollow Earth, an almost mythical environment, located thousands of kilometers at the center of the planet, and believed to be the original habitat of monsters. Kong will be the involuntary guide to that journey, while Godzilla begins attacking humans for unknown reasons. The confrontation between the two colossi is inevitable. He runs an Adam Wingard completely recovered from stumbles like ‘Death Note’.
Two mustards and a destination: to get tied up
‘Godzilla: King of Monsters’ made it clear that a movie of giant monsters tanning its back could also fail if the perspective of what we’ve gone into the room for lost: an excess of humans and their worldly problems that often had nothing to do with giant creatures, or simply didn’t work (the whole Vera Farmiga conflict was a disaster). All this is polished here by putting humans in the background, and not wasting time on conventions we already take for granted.
For example, there is a girl who communicates with Kong. Inheriting the lessons of ‘Kong: Skull Island’ and her approach to the ape’s relationships with humans, here we already know the girl (who we don’t know where she comes from) being friends with Kong, and through her the rest of the relationships are vertebrate. There is no explication we don’t need. That is, quite the opposite of Millie Bobby Brown’s character in ‘King of Monsters’.
But the important thing, the fights between giant monsters, is what really brings the film to life: super choreographed and edited, of an unusual intensity to be CGI animations, with blows that hurt thanks to the clever use of montage and sound, are the best fights seen in a recent film of the series. They are also generous in duration, take fantastic advantage of the scenarios, and include surprises, such as monsters that have not been seen in the trailers and that we will not talk about around here so as not to stylize. Let’s leave it that the conflict between Kong and Godzilla takes on stimulating nuances (and participants) at the final climax.
But besides, the film has an absolutely captivating sense of wonder. In a twist that will certainly not be to the taste of the most accustomed viewers so that the whole plot has a traditional plausibility, the film has a core that is a pure adventure: it changes the stage to a fantasy where everything a glimpse of credibility is lost, but that is raised with classical pulp literature as a reference. And besides, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ commits the daring not to ever explicate anything, just let the viewer marvel at some sets and sensational planning.
‘Godzilla vs. Godzilla Kong’ is not perfect and there is perhaps one step below ‘The Skull Island’ because – once again, the eternal problem – its human characters are not as attractive as in that tremendous war holocaust. Millie Bobby Brown’s sub-film is not too hard-worked and additives remain, like his shallow father. These are secondary problems, however: ‘Godzilla vs. Godzilla. Kong’ is a dream for kaiju eiga fans, and the perfect proof that the genre can still invent and excite.