- Movie Rating -

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

| April 5, 2021

I offer up a ringing endorsement of Godzilla vs. Kong based on a rating that some might accuse of being generous.  I don’t think so.  The movie is about as much fun as one could have at a movie featuring a towering battle between Godzilla and King Kong – you get what you pay for.  I’ll put it this way, if the two had fist-bumped at the end, I might have gone even higher.

I don’t know, maybe it’s timing.  Maybe right now while the real world is going mad, this is the kind of goofball fun that we need.  For me, it was nostalgia, a throwback to when I was a kid sitting on the floor on Sunday afternoons watching badly dubbed prints of the old Toho Godzilla movies on a crummy UHF station.  The tenets of those movies are still here: we have two legendary movie monsters duking it out while a human story goes on that nobody could actually care about – that’s okay, they’re just filler anyway.

The human actors are charged with looking agopped while the real action happens above them.  They involve a good person: anthropological linguist Dr. Illene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) the concerned caretaker of Mr. Kong.  And the bad: Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir) a corporate tech mogul whose mission is to eliminate Kong and his ilk.  In the middle is Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) who is brought in by Walter to get them to a place called Hollow Earth – an area in the center of the Earth where gravity . . . I don’t know, plays by its own rules?  I couldn’t follow it but it sounded like sufficiently impressive horsepucky.  What is impressive is that it took five writers to explain it and it still didn’t make sense.

There is a possibility that much of this would make sense had I seen Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which would explain what Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler and Brian Tyree Henry are doing in this movie and what they’re talking about, but I prefer that it all sound like semi-important babbling.  It’s important to them, so why should I get involved?  They are required stand in the rain, yell a lot, and do the kinds of upward staring that use to be ala carte for Spielberg movies – they’re pretty good at it.

Anyway, let’s get to Kong, who is isolated in a replica of Skull Island, but just try keeping it a secret from him.  He’s not there to be imprisoned but for his own safety.  Dr. Andrews believes that it will keep him safe from the romping stomping threat of the atomic-breathing Godzilla.  But, of course, Simmons disagrees and comes up with another counterpoint to their battle that I won’t spoil.

Of course, you didn’t come from the appetizers, you came for the main course, and the movie serves it well, when Kong and Godzilla meet in a city-wide fight to the finish, although one wonder’s why all of these human eggheads couldn’t have spent their time leading the two titans to a battle in the desert and save all the property damage.  I guess it’s more fun to watch Kong flung into a skyscraper than it is to watch him flung into a sand dune.  The fight is pretty epic.  I watched it with a goofy smile on my face which I can say was pretty much the case for the whole movie.  I got what I wanted, the kind of junk food monster-slinging that took me back to the UHF days of my childhood – only this time with a $200 million budget and CGI gorilla fur.  Oh, the times, they are a-changin’.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2021) View IMDB Filed in: Action