Many giant monster movie fans have long wondered who is more powerful: Godzilla or King Kong. That question is finally answered in Godzilla vs. Kong.
Unlike the 1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla, which features two endings—one with Kong winning for American audiences and the other with Godzilla coming out on top in Japan—this movie definitively answers who is king. While it may not be who everyone is rooting for, the film makes sure the viewer knows who is more powerful, while also making sure the loser does not lose his dignity.
This movie takes its time using what was in the other Monsterverse movies and greatly expands upon their lore. Using real life conspiracy theories to back it up, it finally explains where the monsters come from. It especially takes its time with King Kong’s origin as the movie wisely focuses on him, having already told most of Godzilla’s backstory in the other Godzilla films.
While much of the time is given to the monsters, there is not as much of a focus on the human characters as there is in the other movies. Despite this, the all-star cast still works with what they are given, and most of them do have their moments to shine.
The music manages to blend the old and new themes together rather well, although beyond trying to make the original themes out much of it is lost in the visuals.
As for the visuals, that is where the viewer can truly see how far effects have come when comparing them to the originals. The stop motion in the original King Kong was great for its time, and a man in a giant rubber suit stepping on toy tanks were some of the best effects in the world when Godzilla first came out. However, those both pale in comparison to Godzilla vs. Kong.
While I personally am not the biggest fan of CGI, especially for when practical effects could work better, Godzilla vs. Kong shows just what CGI can do when done right. The monsters look like how one truly could picture them in the real world, and the destruction appears how one would expect a fight between them to play out. While every individual shot in the film is not perfect, there are far more good ones than bad ones, and the fight scenes themselves are some of the best in the film.
Finally, there is a major twist hinted at early on which is revealed later in the movie. Without going into spoilers, all I will say is Godzilla fans will have more than they bargained for when it shows up.
Overall, I really liked this movie. I went into it with high hopes, and it did not disappoint. While still not better than the classics, it more than holds its own, delving into the origins of the Monsterverse while showing it all with wonderful special effects. While the human characters might get short changed, they still have their moments, and it is not really their movie anyway. It is a movie about two giant monsters going at it, and on that front, it spectacularly succeeds.
Also, unlike the other Monsterverse movies, there is no post credit scene, so you do not have to wait around for one.