‘Godzilla vs Kong’ review: Hong Kong loses in this exciting monster flick

Andrik Fernandes
  • ‘Stranger Things’ Millie Bobbie Brown tries to get to the bottom of the giant lizard’s mysterious behaviour, while Kong helps humanity defeat him
  • The movie is streaming on HBO Max, but with loosened Covid-19 restrictions, it’s best to see it in cinemas
Andrik Fernandes |

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Godzilla battles Kong in the 852 in this latest monster flick. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures/TNS

Who really wins when giant creatures decide to duke it out? Not Hong Kong, apparently. As we’ve seen with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Pacific Rim and now Godzilla vs Kong, our city is a prime location for some of the biggest monster smackdowns in cinema – and it doesn’t tend to come out of them unscathed.

Once upon a time, Titans lived on the Earth’s surface, feeding on radiation from the Big Bang. But as that energy dissipated, they retreated into its depths. as that energy dissipated over time. Now the bulk of these beasts hibernate in “Hollow Earth”, a mystical subterranean world, which plays an integral role in this latest Monsterverse movie.

The franchise has so far reinforced the idea that humans are always at the mercy of these powerful forces of nature, and despite our best efforts, there’s very little we can do about it.

However, Godzilla vs Kong is a departure from the norm, with humanity pairing up with Kong thanks to his friendship with Jia (Kaylee Hottle), whose mum, Dr Andrews (Rebecca Hall), is the anthropologist tasked with ape-sitting. So when Godzilla rears his angry head, the military formulate a plan to use the semi-domesticated Kong to take down the mega-lizard.

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Meanwhile, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), who was saved by Godzilla in Godzilla: King of The Monsters, and her friend Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison) join conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) to get to the bottom of mysterious events at Apex Cybernetics that they feel is related to Godzilla’s behaviour.

Godzilla vs Kong weaves multiple storylines together nicely (albeit with some absurd plot holes), never drags, and ensures that each actor gets their chance to shine. Although the dialogue can be painfully awkward at times, the stellar performances make up for it.

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The film has also done a great job humanising its non-human characters, to the point where they might as well have little speech bubbles floating over their heads.

But, of course, the crux of Godzilla vs Kong are the larger-than-life battles – the first confrontation on an aircraft carrier sees Kong smacking Godzilla in the face. So while the movie has been released on HBO Max, it’s also out in cinemas, and seeing as social distancing rules have been somewhat relaxed, it’s definitely worth watching on the big screen.

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The climax sees the two behemoths putting aside their animosity to take on the terrifying skeletal robot, Mechagodzilla. This all takes place against the backdrop of a vibrant Hong Kong skyline, illuminated by neon lights, with Kong seemingly cautious enough not to knock down too many skyscrapers. It’s exhilarating.

Godzilla vs Kong is a feast for the eyes. It’s obvious that the production team did their homework, and deliver just what Covid-exhausted viewers asked for. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

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