Today, June 23, the anticipated Godzilla vs. Kong is available to stream exclusively on HBO GO. We were given early access and here are our thoughts on the movie. This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read ahead if you haven’t seen the movie.
Looking back at Kong: Skull Island, which surprisingly had a good storyline and acceptable action sequences, I was quite disappointed that Godzilla vs. Kong did not possess a better plot, in my opinion.
I won’t even compare it to the awesomeness that was 2014’s Godzilla reboot, whose mixed team of writers married a strong storyline with CGI monster battles so well, it was a near-perfect movie.
Godzilla vs. Kong, however, didn’t measure up in terms of story exposition.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the film’s budget probably went to CGI and if you’re looking for monsters-mashing-monsters action, you will definitely get it — it is not lacking in entertainment value in that department. Kong’s epic battle with Godzilla in the water is loaded with just the right amount of destruction, close-call battle defeat and victories, suspense, and even a few dramatic moments.
It is everything you will ever want in a monster-verse battle.
However, I still can’t get over the lack of effort in storytelling. The movie feels as if several people had a bunch of ideas and the scriptwriter took all of these ideas, put them in the script, and desperately tried to connect all of them, no matter how weak the connection.
But I digress, there is one saving grace to the storyline which is Kong’s relationship with a deaf girl named Jia. It seems that Jia is the only survivor of Skull Island’s indigenous people and has been depending on Kong for her survival at Skull Island.
Due to their connection, Jia and Kong are inseparable, which then dictates Kong’s actions in the movie, most of which have a direct relation to how it may affect Jia. That story arc is the movie’s only saving grace.
Godzilla vs. Kong does bring father-daughter cast Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown from Godzilla: King of the Monsters as Dr. Mark Russell and Madison Russell, respectively.
The movie also brings fresh faces of some respectable actors like Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3, The BFG, and most recently Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York) and Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood and more recently the main antagonist in Big Little Lies).
For a lazy afternoon couch movie or after-dinner entertainment, Godzilla vs. Kong is a decent movie to pop some popcorn to. Luckily, it hits HBO Go today and you don’t have to feel bad about spending all that money on that IMAX ticket. No, wait, come to think of it, I would probably have a very different review of this film if I saw this on IMAX.
Even better if I saw it on IMAX and in 3D. I’m pretty sure the movie was produced to be seen in 3D on the big screen just like the previous Godzilla and Kong movies.
I guess those elements tend to let you forget about the little effort made on the storytelling aspect because of the sensory overload and the adrenaline boost you get after seeing a movie like this with the help of 3D glasses and a very big screen.
Alas, until the pandemic is over, we would just have to manage with our TV screens and do our best not to think too deeply about storylines of movies that are obviously made for the entertainment value that appeals to the senses. If you are a fan of the monster-verse and if you like Kong or Godzilla or both, then I’d recommend seeing this film nonetheless.