Godzilla vs. Kong

Godzilla vs. Kong ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Super continuation of the story begun in Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017). and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). This time, of course, the two titans meet up to beat the crap out of each other There's other stuff at play: the theory that the titans that have appeared in the stories of these three movies are thought to have originated in a place called Hollow Earth, which is basically a "center of the Earth" type of place but inverted, with a crushing pressure field that will destroy any normal vehicle attempting to access it. So guess what? Some scientists build vehicles that will. Rebecca Hall is a scientist studying Kong on Skull Island, with Kong surrounded with a biosphere-type of enclosure to guarantee he doesn't get out and nothing (Godzilla) gets in. His usual surroundings are artificially re-created inside the dome but Kong knows it's a sham and he hates it. He has made friends with the only surviving person of the indigenous people from the island, a little deaf girl (played by real-life deaf actress Kaylee Hottle in her first film) who has brought out a gentle side to Kong and seems to reach him on a level others can't. Hall is taking care of the girl and acting as her surrogate mother.

Godzilla has attacked an Apex Industries facility in Florida for some reason, leading some to theorize that he's suddenly not championing the people anymore. Two men talk to Alexander Skarsgård's Hollow Earth expert and convince him that an expedition to Antarctica (where the entrance to Hollow Earth is). The men get Skarsgård to convince his friend Hall to lead a naval convoy to the entrance with Kong and follow him in with their special Hollow Earth protective vehicles.
Kong is immune to the effects there where everything is basically upside-down but gets righted when they make the crossing. Still, the visuals are a wow! You have two lands, one as your floor, one as your ceiling, full of lush foliage and wild creatures. Godzilla attacks them on the way while they're in their ships and Kong puts up a hell of a fight but he's wearied before long. Godzilla disappears soon and they continue

Something has provoked Godzilla and soon he's on his way to Hong Kong for a visit. Millie Bobbie Brown, who was in the second Godzilla movie, is back as her character, convinced that Godzilla has been set up. And in fact there is something stirring him to rage that is revealed soon enough. Along with her are Brian Tyree Henry, who is great as an undercover mole for his conspiracy theory podcasts, and Julian Dennison, playing a teen tech nerd friend of Brown's who is the third member of the group and provides a lot of the comic bits. Kyle Chandler is back as Brown's dad. Lance Reddick is on hand in a blink-and-you'll-miss-him role as a confederate of Chandler's. Shun Oguri and Demián Bichir are in the film as the two mysterious men who convince Skarsgård to go on the mission for them.

But the real goods lie in the two major battles between Godzilla and Kong. The first, at sea, is great, but the second one, in Hong Kong, is blistering and hardly any structure escapes major damage as they plow each other through them, blasting them, punching them, falling against them, etc. Godzilla's radioactive mouth ray is almost unstoppable but Kong has an ace-in-the-hole he brought from Hollow Earth: an axe with the blade looking like it was made from the back fin of one of Godzilla's ancestors. It is a true battle royale and one worth the wait. The special effects are pretty astounding. I loved it. I'm a big-time Godzilla freak but I found myself rooting for Kong for most of the running time here. The shots with him punching Godzilla right in the kisser are fantastic! It all works. Great stuff!

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