With two Godzilla films and a standalone King Kong film it’s been building to the destined MonsterVerse climax with Godzilla v Kong, a film that had started shooting before the second Kong was released and only just recouped its budget and marketing costs. This is where it all (potentially, box office pending) ends.
The previous films have featured the shadowy syndicate, Monarch, who have other ideas for the two titans and into the mix is thrown Apex Cybernetics also. Now it’s that last organisation who task boffin Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) and fund his idea to take Kong to the centre of the Earth to locate a massive energy source. We find Kong living in a mammoth monitored island containment centre like a David Attenborough’s version of ‘The Truman Show’ and supervised by Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and her daughter Jia (Kaylee Chandler) a deaf mute girl who bonds with Kong and is really the soft beating heart of the film in light of what an audience’s expectations are having been teased with the trailers. Added to this is Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) from the last Godzilla film (see her and the cast at the UK premiere HERE) who’s become a bit of a Godzilla obsessive tuning into a podcast by Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry) a sort of conspiracy theorist and both are suspicious of why Godzilla seems to have turned from friend to foe after he trashes a research centre.
Of course none of this really matters because what everyone really wants to see is the carnage as the beasts batter one another in a number of well staged fights starting with one set at sea on the deck of battleships. Kong is itching for a fight with his nemesis and Godzilla doesn’t disappoint. Leathery skinned and lumbering through the water like Celebrity Wipeout with Gemma Collins they splosh about with Kong on the verge of drowning in the first of three smackdowns.
This is typical blockbuster fare writ large and the story, what there is of it, is thin to the point of anorexic and unlike the previous films there are no star names in this really as the towering titans are the draw and the film features Kong far more heavily than Godzilla . Both are impressively rendered but if there’s any complaint it’s that it is not always easy to ascertain Kong’s size – one minute he’s easily able to square up to Godzilla the next he is utterly dwarfed by the ever changing locations he finds himself.
Director Adam Wingard, whose genre is modestly budgeted horror thrillers, steps up to the plate and has a whale of a time gleefully orchestrating the destruction and if ever there was a film that’s enhanced by IMAX then this is it. Unfortunately having already been delayed since last year UK audiences will be watching Godzilla v Kong on premium demand streaming TV. Though Kong Skull Island was the most effective in embracing its B-movie origins with some a great soundtrack Godzilla v Kong is less successful with its use of soft ballads notably the Hollies version of ‘All we need is the air that we breathe’. There’s also not the diversity of creatures we’ve seen in the previous two films and despite a contemporary setting there’s enough going on to suggest a near future with nods to films as varied as Blade Runner, Pacific Rim & Transformers but ultimately this is all about the pixel packed punch ups and this won’t disappoint . It’s big, bold and bombastic!
Here’s the Godzilla v Kong trailer…….