Hollywood Insider - News Entertainment & Culture

    Substance & Meaningful Entertainment

    Against Gossip & Scandal

    Independent Media Network

    Global Stories From Local Perspective

    Factual Culture News

    Hollywood Insider Godzilla vs Kong Review

    Photo: ‘Godzilla vs Kong’/Warner Bros. Pictures

    At the time of the original 1962 ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla’, it wasn’t expected to be the genre-defining crossover event that we know today. To pit two monsters together was simply a convention of the time, inspired by Universal Horror’s classic monster mash-ups involving characters like Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s monster.

    In fact, the film was originally conceptualized by one of King Kong’s original stop-motion animators as a Kong/Frankenstein crossover. Vestiges of this remain in the finished film, including multiple scenes in which electricity/lightning reinvigorates Kong, and there’s actually a scene in the new ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ that potentially pays homage–in one scene, our human protagonists must retool one of the ships they used to travel to the center of the Earth (more on this later) into an impromptu defibrillator.

    Related article: A History of ‘Godzilla’, Coming Full Circle with ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

    Related article: A Tribute to Ricky Gervais: The Trailblazer Created A New Form of Comedy and Reinvented the Sitcom

    In a multitude of ways like this, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ is clearly a labor of love. Director Adam Wingard is an informed fan, much like the directors of ‘Godzilla’, ‘Kong: Skull Island’, and ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ before him–that’s what ultimately pushes not only this film to succeed, but also Legendary’s MonsterVerse as a whole.

    As much as Godzilla’s identity revolves around a serious contemplation of nuclear destruction, the environment, and humanity’s place in nature, so does it revolve around intentional campiness that requires an audience who’s willing and able to appreciate the spectacle for what it is–there’s an inherent absurdity, the acceptance of which is your admission ticket.

    There’s also an inherent appeal–the desire to see ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ is rooted in the same basic instinct that not only brought about other cinematic crossovers like ‘Alien vs. Predator’ and ‘Batman v. Superman’, but also sporting events like Mayweather vs. McGregor and WWE Showdowns.

    Related article: MUST WATCH – Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s Love Letter to Black Lives Matter – VIDEO

    Subscribe to Hollywood Insider’s YouTube Channel, by clicking here.

    ‘Godzilla vs Kong’ – Brutal Action and Charming Monsters

    On these terms, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ is an unequivocal success–as a Godzilla fan, there’s little more that one could ask for. A movie like this lives or dies on the quality of its action, and the action is good.

    In spite of their regal bearings, Godzilla and Kong duke it out like a street brawl–Godzilla uses his atomic breath and reptilian affectations (biting, clawing, using his tail), while Kong fights like a wrestler, utilizing dropkicks, double-fisted hammer punches, and high-flying moves (using the buildings of Hong Kong as ring posts). There’s a satisfying weightiness that you notice when Kong lands his first solid punch on Godzilla’s face, and that’s the moment when the movie starts to get good.

    Meanwhile, Hong Kong crumbles like a sandcastle–millions have surely perished, yet both the audience and the human characters of the film cheer at the end. That, too, is the appeal of Godzilla’s particular brand of camp–in a kaiju film, the destruction of a city is simply the cost of business.

    What really puts the action over the top, however, is the anthropomorphization of the Titans. Kong, who we follow for much of the film as the protagonist, has big, soulful eyes that demand sympathy, but that’s not surprising–as an ape, he’s almost human anyway. Even in the 1933 original did he elicit pity for his capture and humiliation, and of course “‘twas beauty killed the beast.”

    Related article: The Power of Positivity: Ikorodu Bois + Chris Hemsworth + Russo Brothers + Sam Hargrave

    Limited Time Offer – FREE Subscription to Hollywood Insider

    Click here to read more on Hollywood Insider’s vision, values and mission statement here – Media has the responsibility to better our world – Hollywood Insider fully focuses on substance and meaningful entertainment, against gossip and scandal, by combining entertainment, education, and philanthropy.

    What you wouldn’t expect, however, is Godzilla himself mugging directly into the camera–and yet, he does. Numerous times throughout the film, generally after he knocks Kong on his ass, Godzilla delivers a cheeky, devilish grin that gives their rivalry an adolescent, schoolyard vibe. What prevents the action from becoming monotonous is the amount of personality that’s bestowed by the animation alone–one of the film’s most entertaining moments is a shouting contest that the two have in the middle of their final showdown.

    The Human Characters–a Mixed Bag

    Clocking in at a timely 113 minutes, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ doesn’t waste too much time–still, its first act is devoted to a myriad of human characters that are just not as interesting. At the risk of sounding like a goldfish, 40 minutes is longer than I would expect for a movie like this to really get going, but an inordinate amount of time is spent on bumbling comedy or exposition that will ultimately fail to adequately explain anything anyway.

    That said, what I appreciate about this film is how it leans into the fantastical. Using Kong as a guide, for instance, a group of humans, including Monarch scientists Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) and Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), Apex Cybernetics executive Maia Simmons (Eiza González), and Dr. Andrew’s deaf adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle), travel to the center of the Earth (with a visual send-up to ‘2001’). Here, contrary to elementary school geology, the Earth is hollow–within it exists a vast monster ecosystem.

    Related article: Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase: “The Importance of Venice Film Festival as the Protector of Cinema”

    Related article: The Masters of Cinema Archives: Hollywood Insider Pays Tribute to ‘La Vie En Rose’, Exclusive Interview with Director Olivier Dahan

    Jia, a young orphan girl native to Kong’s Skull Island, acts as Kong’s connection to humanity and communicates with him through sign language–she is the only human that he trusts. It’s a welcome addition to the cast that evokes the more mystical elements of the Godzilla mythos (like Mothra’s priestesses). González also stands out by consistently delivering the most gaping expressions of horror.

    In a seemingly unrelated subplot, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown, reprising her role from ‘King of Monsters’), Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry), and Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison) investigate a conspiracy within Apex Cybernetics. In an age where most people fully expect corporations to engage in shady things, there’s nothing particularly interesting about this exposition-filled subplot–its saving grace is the reveal, which introduces into the fray a third, equally iconic adversary who you might have recognized from the trailer.

    Final Thoughts

    At the end of the day, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ fully delivers on its premise, and more. It looks great, the action is good, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s the return of the blockbuster after a long year of quarantine, and it emerges triumphant–perhaps, like its 1962 counterpart, its success could ignite the next era of ‘Godzilla’ movies.

    Related article: A Tribute to Ricky Gervais: The Trailblazer Created A New Form of Comedy and Reinvented the Sitcom

    Related article: April Movies Release Schedule: The Most Accurate List of Every Movie Coming Out in April – Live Updates

    Following in Warner Bros release strategy for 2021, ‘Godzilla’ is available to watch both in theaters and on HBO Max, with a subscription, until April 30–CLICK HERE to watch.

    Alexander Skarsgård will star in the upcoming historical thriller ‘The Northman’ as the Nordic prince Amleth, directed by Robert Eggers and co-starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, and Willem Dafoe.

    Brian Tyree Henry will star in Marvel Studios’ upcoming ‘Eternals’, directed by Chloé Zhao (‘Nomadland’) and co-starring Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Lauren Ridloff, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Gemma Chan, and Barry Keoghan. ‘Eternals’ is scheduled to be released on November 5. Henry also stars in ‘The Outside Story’, a drama about an introverted editor who gets locked out of his apartment and explores the neighborhood. ‘The Outside Story’ is scheduled for release on April 30.

    Eiza González will lend her voice to DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming ‘Spirit Untamed’, directed by Elaine Bogan as a standalone sequel to the 2002 ‘Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron’. ‘Spirit Untamed’ is scheduled to be released on June 4.

    Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall

    Cinematography: Ben Seresin | Editor: Josh Schaeffer| Producers: Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Eric McLeod, Mary Parent, Brian Rogers, Thomas Tull

    Director: Adam Wingard | Writers: Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields, Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein

    By Daniel Choi

    Click here to read Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

    An excerpt from the love letter: Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard. Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

    More Interesting Stories From Hollywood Insider

    Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY

    Compilation: All James Bond 007 Opening Sequences From 1962 Sean Connery to Daniel Craig

    Do you know the hidden messages in ‘Call Me By Your Name’? Find out behind the scenes facts in the full commentary and In-depth analysis of the cinematic masterpiece

    A Tribute To The Academy Awards: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | From Rami Malek, Leonardo DiCaprio To Denzel Washington, Halle Berry & Beyond | From Olivia Colman, Meryl Streep To Bette Davis & Beyond

    In the 32nd Year Of His Career, Keanu Reeves’ Face Continues To Reign After Launching Movies Earning Over $4.3 Billion In Total – “John Wick”, “Toy Story 4”, “Matrix”, And Many More

    godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong, godzilla vs kong

    Author

    • DanielChoi is a writer who's currently pursuing a BA in Film & Television from New York University. With a background in amateur film production, Daniel is fascinated by how artists' cultural backgrounds inform their work, subconsciously or not, and how that work is then perceived by different audiences across time and space. He joined Hollywood Insiderto promote its mission statement of substantive entertainment journalism, and hopes to enrich readers' understandings of cinema through insightful analysis.

    Website It Up
    logo

    Limited Time Offer: Join For Free Today & Get Unlimited Access.

    Hollywood Insider focuses on substance & meaningful entertainment.

    Quality of our content over quantity, transformation rather than titillation, and extraordinary instead of normal.

     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.