Hayden’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is a King Kong propaganda film and you can't tell me otherwise.
While I can talk myself into some of the cool action and set pieces, I more often am left with thoughts of disappointment as the film does nothing to add to one of favorite movie monsters. As much as the Godzilla films have gotten flack from the public for their "human stuff" I never scoffed at it because
1) The first film actually has a really good set up for Godzilla and does an incredible job not showing everything all at once to lead to a brilliant payoff.
2) as much as King of the Monsters is lackluster what it makes up for in its visually striking effects is the best work I've seen from any team.
This film does have "better" human stuff as it isn't as hyper serious and more leaning towards the realm of a transformers film (a good version of that), but it also feels like it doesn't have the same flair visually as it usually does. This downgrade is largely due to my first point, they NERF Godzilla immensely just so he doesn't rip Kong in half in the first fight. Keep in mind this is fresh off the heels of Godzilla fighting a literal God that came down from Space, but now he's supposed to have trouble with a monkey? I don't know it just feels like a misguided effort in terms of when they put this movie out in this universes order. It's kinda like a bad team sacrificing their long term plans just so they can contend for that last seed, like you're screwing yourselves! There was no precedent for this, Godzilla has legit wins and Kong had heaps of trouble with the little tiny skull crawlers. Like the big monkeys goes into a new zone and immediately is almost killed, he's out of his league, but the movie keeps reminding you "Kong bows to no one!". AHHH, HE HASN'T EVEN FOUGHT ANYTHING YET!!!!! And the worst part is the movie is aware Kong is extremely outmatch, they make you sympathetic for the Big Ape when he isn't the strongest monster out there. Like yeah I'm aware, any other monster I'd be down to root for Team Kong but it's God-freaking-zilla!!! And he's not the main character? What are we doing here.
High 3/Low 4