The Inverse Review

Godzilla vs. Kong is a colossally dumb spectacle

Ever since Godzilla in 2014, it’s been leading up to this...

The MonsterVerse was conceived as Godzilla’s response to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

At a time when every studio wanted its own interconnected franchise (remember the Dark Universe?), Warner and Legendary bet on one of the most recognizable monsters in movie history.

The 2014 movie reintroduced Godzilla, and 2017’s Skull Island brought King Kong into the Monsterverse.

2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters made good on the promise of a monster-filled movie universe. It featured epic set pieces, giant battles, and epic imagery. The plot was dumb, but what do you expect from a movie about fighting kaiju?

Finally, on March 31, we’re getting the slugfest this has all be leading up to: Godzilla vs. Kong.

Godzilla vs. Kong delivers on its promise. Those two monsters fight. Multiple times.

But those fights lack the weight and visual flair of what we’ve seen before in the Monsterverse, and everything else about this movie is practically unwatchable.

Without going into spoiler territory, I’ll just say that Godzilla versus King Kong is not a fair fight.

It doesn’t really matter, though, because the film’s true villain is Mechagodzilla, who shows up in the final act for an extremely predictable twist.

Mecha-Godzilla was the one monster that director Adam Wingard tells Inverse he was able to design from scratch, and it looks awesome. Picture a giant dinosaur Transformer with booster jet packs and you’re about halfway there. (Don’t worry, that isn’t the new design.)

“As a director, it's exciting because I can finally put my stamp on the monsters. Godzilla and Kong had already been redesigned for the MonsterVerse.”

— Adam Wingard, director

Beyond the monsters, Godzilla vs. Kong comes up short in nearly every way.

The script alternates between corny and exposition (or sometimes both), the acting is one-dimensional, and the plot is barely worth following.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

One bright spot is Brian Tyree Henry, who plays Godzilla conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes. It’s clear that Henry is really trying his best, even when most of his lines are absurd tinfoil hat theories about tap water.

Wingard also says he’s a huge fan of conspiracy theories, and purposefully baked multiple into his script. Keep an ear out for one scene that mentions the concept of “breakaway civilizations.”

“One of the things I'm most proud of is that we mentioned the phrase breakaway civilization. That's a very important phrase in the conspiracy world that I've never heard in a mainstream film before.”

— Adam Wingard

Speaking of conspiracies, Godzilla vs. Kong also takes us to “Hollow Earth,” a real-life conspiracy that’s been hinted at since the start of the Monsterverse. Those scenes are visually stunning, even if the entire thing is one big CGI green screen sequence.

Godzilla vs. Kong will be streaming on HBO Max (and in theaters) on March 31. So if you want to see these two titans fight, I won’t try to stop you. Just know that the monster battle Warner and Legendary have been hyping for years is a big disappointment.

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