Humans take a back seat in Godzilla v Kong, the newest (and perhaps best) instalment in the MonsterVerse. The flick delivers on its promise of epic battles, stylish visuals and a damn good time, serving up this epic battle of the titans without taking itself too seriously.
My initial thoughts leaving the cinema were that if you could go back in time and show Godzilla v Kong to a person living in the Victorian Era, they’d die instantly. The movie is intense, firing on all cylinders from start to finish, only coming up for air when taking in the hyper-colourful stylised world in which this epic battle takes place. 2014’s Godzilla was all science and drama, keeping the actual monster off screen and reorienting to a more human focus. Likewise with the 2017 edition, Kong: Skull Island, the story was rooted in a human struggle for discovery and survival, with Skullcrawlers and the titan Kong running around the hapless humans who land in their habitat. Godzilla v Kong eschews restraint, not stopping to explain the science or give weight to the destruction caused by the two giants in their battle royale.
This isn’t the movie to go into wearing your thinking cap—and definitely don’t bring your A24 film major friend. It’s the movie to go and see after you’ve had a couple of beers or at the end of a stressful week, when you just want to stare slack-jawed at a screen for two hours. It’s the movie you see with a friend that you know you can whisper commentary to throughout the flick without them getting annoyed. Godzilla v Kong never takes itself too seriously or thinks that its audience needs hand holding to keep up.
A clash of titans is a mammoth task for any director, and Adam Wingard does a fine job of toeing the line between comedy and action, giving the monsters space to breathe, flex their muscles and eye each other up. There are plenty of laughs to be had, some intentional and others because you suddenly realise you’re watching a B-list monster movie with an A-list cast and budget.
The only word that can sum up Godzilla v Kong is fun. The action is fun, the locations are fun, and the bright neon colours that separate it from most other sci-fi/action movies are fun. Godzilla v Kong knows exactly what it is, and why try to be something different? The world of cinema has enough gritty remakes and depressing reboots which offer little in world-building and even less in entertainment. Godzilla v Kong knows what it’s about, and delivers the fun in spades.
So, leave your critical thinking skills at home, get a group of friends together and pick a side in this epic showdown between ancient titans in their quest for dominance.
Godzilla v Kong is in cinemas from the 25th of March.