In 1933, King Kong changed filmmaking forever with stop-motion animation, the first original feature film score and that iconic Empire State Building image of the monster holding onto a helpless Fay Wray. then we saw 1954 deliver a repurposed lizard in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Now, Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home. Along for the ride is Jia (Kaylee Hottle) an orphaned girl who has a unique and powerful bond with the mighty beast. However, soon they find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla as he cuts a swath of destruction across the globe. The initial confrontation between the two titans, instigated by unseen forces, is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the planet.
Written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, the screenplay lends itself to feeling a little more empathetic toward Kong. Why? His unique and powerful bond with orphaned Jia (Kaylee Hottle), whose guardian is Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), a sensitive scientist. A little more cynical and less sensitive, Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) is ethically compromised by his involvement with Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir), a corporate titan who has more to gain than not throughout the whole journey.
Of course, the story is driven by the hyperbole theories of podcaster Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) and backed up by podcast inspired Madison Russell (Millie Bobbie Brown) and Julian Dennison as her brave, nerdy bud Josh Valentine. But, is grounded by Andrews (Rebecca Hall), Lind (Alexander Skarssgård), simmons (Demián Bichir) and little Jia (Hottle) whose ‘Kong’ bond makes the audience immediately take sides. My favorite part of this journey was watching Kong’s attachment to a woman come in the form a gorgeous child and not a gorgeous vixen of a woman. For me, it made the story resonate with more heart and soul making me root for King to persevere!!!
Are there too many fight sequences and are they too long? Of course, they are. But, I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the battle which provided some much needed kitchy sci-fi fun! Between the sound design working exceptionally well when instituting Jia’s silence communicating with Kong to the graphic neon design on Godzilla’s back and numerous towers as titans struggle for control. By the final act, Godzilla and Kong reach common ground realizing their commonality resonates stronger than their differences ever could.
In a fight to the finish, Godzilla vs Kong is an emotional rollercoaster ride into two legendary cinematic icons who remind audiences that sometimes putting ego away for the sake of compromise can have epic, positive results that permeate for a lifetime.