By: Jim West
Directed by Adam Wingard
Written by Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein, Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty, and Zach Shields
With 36 films in the Godzilla franchise and 12 in the King Kong franchise this makes for one epic monster battle. With five writers on this project they have their hands full in trying to infuse two franchises and sets of film characters coming together. On the Godzilla side of the house we have Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler. On the Kong side we have Rebecca Hall and Julian Dennison. Interweaving characters from both world is a bit tricky and the hopping back and forth around locations gets blurry at times. Sometimes this becomes a distraction to the real reason people are watching this film…see monsters fight each other.
Here comes the spoilers.
Team Godzilla is trying to figure out what is causing Godzilla to attack a facility in Pensacola. The organization it attacked is already off the bat shady as hell and a conspiracy theorist, Bernie works there and extracts data about their secret technology. He knows they are up to no good and can’t quite figure things out. The teens find him and they set off to investigate Apex Cybernetics.
The CEO of Apex recruits a disgraced scientist who has a theory on Hollow Earth, that there is an entire world inside the core of the earth where the titans have come from. He believes that Kong can lead them to this home and therefore he convinces his old colleague to allow them to use Kong for this purpose as they feel it will help Kong. Apex intends to discover a energy source in Hollow Earth. Ultimately they acquire the energy source signature and then able to power their secret project which is a Mechagodzilla. They utilized a brain of King Ghidora operated by neural link to control it. Of course things are expected to go haywire and the brain takes over completely.
Kong and Godzilla get to face off more than once. The first time it’s on water and Obviously Godzilla has the upper hand as this is not Kong’s element as a mammal. Godzilla wins round one. The second time they square off in Tokyo, Kong starts off strong and actually almost comes close to winning round two. Yet Godzilla is King of Monsters for a reason and he takes round two. As Godzilla goes on to fight Mechagodzilla, he finds that he is not as strong and as powerful as Mechagodzilla. Kong comes to his rescue and they team up to defeat Mechagodzilla. Then they give each other nods and go their separate ways. Awwwe swoon. The film is a bit chunky with the location switching between the two teams of people investigating their own mysteries. The film has lots of neat visuals when they are in Hollow Earth and leaves room for at least another film to come later to explore this world. Yet where to take their stories from here is the hard task. What else is there to defeat? Perhaps a film can go back in time and explore the past battles between Godzilla and Kong’s ancestors. That may be a hell of a monster battle royale.
This film suffers a lot form trying to cater to two franchises and trying to maintain a balance. Yet although Kong gets more screen-time, Godzilla wins overall in the round count. This just throws off the balance. I think another round should’ve been inserted into the film giving Kong a clear win so the round tally could be a tied up at one point before the Tokyo fight.
Other than that it is quite a job these writer’s had to take on to bring these two long running franchises and beloved characters together and give them each ample time to share the screen. Sometimes the best you can do is serves up more spectacle over story/plot. This is a rare case where that would’ve been welcome. This film needed more monsters fighting than humans investigating/exploring.
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