The monster movie match-up to end all monster movie match-ups has finally arrived: Godzilla vs. Kong, the HBO Max epic that smashes the two biggest titans of the monster movie genre against one another.
In one corner, there’s the hulking gorilla from Skull Island. In the other, there’s the radiated sea monster with the heaving nuclear breath. Put them together, and what do you get? An absurd amount of destructive action with all of us as witnesses.
Godzilla vs. Kong is now fully available on HBO Max, but there are those who don’t want to watch the battle themselves. Maybe that’s you! Perhaps you simply can’t stand to watch your two favorite monsters harm one another, or perhaps you need to steel yourself for the outcome before hitting play. In any event, we have you covered. Below, a play-by-play breakdown of how it goes down between Godzilla vs. Kong.
There are effectively three rounds in Godzilla vs. Kong, as the two behemoths collide — though one of those rounds is basically a two-parter, and it’s quickly followed by a third with an asterisk. Also, there’s a “Hollow Earth.” Basically, a lot going on. Need an explainer for the ending? Look no further. But if it’s just the beat-by-beat battle breakdown you’re after, this is the spot.
Anyway! With that said, let’s let them fight!
Godzilla vs. Kong, Round 1
The first fight goes to Godzilla, and it’s really not close. It goes down as a sedated King Kong is being taken to Antarctica while chained to a boat. Godzilla shows up and takes the Skull Island king to task. In Kong’s defense, he is literally fighting with one hand (chained) behind his back. Also, he more or less saves everyone’s life by playing dead; if not for that, Godzilla would have caused even more mayhem.
Round 1 Winner: Godzilla
Godzilla vs. Kong, Round 2a
Later in the movie, King Kong goes to the aforementioned Hollow Earth. When he returns, he possesses a powerful weapon that gives him an edge in the fight against Godzilla. With axe in hand, Kong is actually able to hold his own, using Godzilla’s own nuclear firepower against him. An onlooker effectively notes: “I guess King Kong won that one!” Who are we to disagree?
Round 2a Winner: Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong, Round 2b
Yeah, you missed that it was a two-part round, didn’t you? So did Kong. Immediately after the King defeats his opponent, Godzilla gets back up. He effectively takes off the gloves, if he were wearing any, as he throws Kong all over the place and more or less kills him. It’s only thanks to an anti-gravity Hollow Earth ship that Kong is able to be revived. But yeah, no question here: Godzilla gets the second half of round two.
Round 2b Winner: Godzilla
Godzilla vs. Kong, Round 3
Oh, whoa, what’s this? A new challenger has entered the ring! Mechagodzilla is in the house! The giant robot takes Godzilla to task, effectively ending the entire exercise on his own. But good news: King Kong is back! Thanks, anti-gravity ship! Kong and Godzilla recognize Mechagodzilla as the worst of them all, joining forces to take down their foe. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and all that.
Round 3 Winners: Godzilla and Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong, who won?
So, who won? It’s perhaps a bit murky, since in the end, both Godzilla and Kong align with one another and take down a common bad guy. Indeed, one can argue that they are friends by the end of the movie. So all is well that ends well, right? Let’s call it a draw and move onto the next big HBO Max epic. Mortal Kombat, get over here!
…but in the spirit of Mortal Kombat, we should probably toss out another famous phrase from that franchise: “Finish him!” We cannot let the Godzilla vs. Kong debate go unsettled. So let’s settle it.
Turns out, it’s fairly straightforward. If this is a three-round fight, then the winner is clearly Godzilla. Sure, Kong gets some damage in the first half of round two, but to what end? To make Godzilla angrier, and force himself into a position where he needs to be revived with sci-fi tech? If anything, Godzilla is the decisive winner because he not only beats Kong twice, but also plays a good enough social game to basically turn Kong into his new bestie.
So, sorry, there’s really no question. At the end of Godzilla vs. Kong, there can only be one champion.
The winner is Godzilla, King of the Monsters.