The fourth movie in the ‘monsterverse’ that began with Godzilla in 2014, and was followed by Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, this is the one where – as the movie title says – the big lizard and the big ape get to battle it out at last.
You’ll have to wait over half an hour for that to happen, though, as first there is some exposition about the ‘Titans’ (the big creatures like Kong and Godzilla that may have come from the centre of the earth and now would really rather be back home than sharing the planet with us), and some plot-hole heavy stuff that introduces the main human characters to the story.
There’s a professor (Skarsgard) who seems quite bookish until he straps on a leather onesie and joins the expedition to find the Titan home world; Madison (Brown) from the previous movie who pops up with her friend Josh (Dennison) and security guard/conspiracy theorist Bernie (Henry) to look into why Godzilla has come back;, and Kong ‘whisperer’ Ilene (Hall) and the little girl she looks after, Jia (Kaylee Hottle), who tag along to look after Kong.
You won’t remember any of their names, however, or what they are supposed to be doing, how they get to where they are going so fast (at one point, some underground space tunnel is used that seemingly zips some of our heroes from the US to Hong Kong in minutes, while Madison’s dad – as played by Kyle Chandler – seems to get there at the same time by plane) or why they are even bothering.
The script doesn’t concern itself with any of that – or any of the thousands of human casualties there must be when Kong and Godzilla finally go smashy around the city. Even the introduction of a major monsterverse character isn’t given much thought – instead it seems that all the filmmakers time and energy was focused entirely on the battles between atomic lizard and big grumpy ape.
And when they are on screen together – pulverising each other in the ocean or devastating those Hong Kong skyscrapers – it truly does look spectacular, especially as both creatures are given mesmerizingly expressive faces as they tear each other apart.
If you can stop yourself from asking exactly why Godzilla is back at all and going after cuddly Kong (the film has one character that mutters something about an ‘ancient rivalry’ which is then promptly forgotten) and just enjoy the (all too brief) fights, the effects of the titan rumbles in the concrete jungle are truly five star. Shame they happen to be in a two star movie.
Is Godzilla Vs Kong suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The film does include creatures that may frighten very young viewers.
Godzilla is quite scary for sensitive viewers, who may also be upset when Kong is injured.
Very little damage to humans is shown, though one character is eaten.
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