Monsters, Kaiju, Big Freaking Lizards the size of Skyscrapers! Ever since Tokyo first shook like a cup of water on a Jurassic Park dashboard Godzilla and his ilk have been a staple in Pop Culture. With the original rubber suit monster series being the great-grand reptile for everything from Pacific Rim to the Power Rangers, this week in cinemas we get to see one of the most epic clashes we have wanted since Skull Island – Godzilla vs Kong.
In case you have been living in a Kaiju safe bunker these last few years let us catch you up a little. This is going to be a tiny bit spoiler’y for the most recent Godzilla and Kong movies but if you have already seen those just consider this something to jog your memory.
Since 1954 through to as recent as 2019 there have been 32 Godzilla films produced out of Japan (including the original Godzilla v Kong film in 1963). The series itself mostly featured Godzilla but the additional chapters were Godzilla vs Mothra, King Ghidorah and even a robot Godzilla dubbed Mecha-Godzilla which most recently appeared in film during Ready Player One. In around 2014 controversy hit as the first (well second if you count the 1998 one with Ferris Bueller) American made Godzilla film was released. Starring the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (as husband and wife, ew) the jolly green had less than 8 of 123 minutes.
The story being that these Titans (Kaiju) live in something called the Hollowed Earth (that the earth is a crust like a chocolate easter egg with another world inside it ala Jules Verne) and feed off radiation. Once Nuclear power was harnessed, Power plant meltdowns and weapons tests drew out the creatures to feed. The first film showed that these creatures are kept in check by a Alpha Titan, Godzilla, who is a predator for the others and why the world isn’t just covered in them.
Jumping ahead and back to 2017 saw the release of Kong: Skull Island which was set at the end of the Vietnam War. The organisation Monarch who are responsible for tracking and containment of the sleeping Titans, while still in it’s infancy are pursuing the Hollow Earth theory and find their way to Skull Island which is cut off from the rest of the world but home to Kong who protects the land from other Titans that come up from the earth’s crust like seemingly plentiful Skull Crushers. Kong is the last of his kind but considered still growing.
And that brings us to 2019 and modern times where Monarch is a multinational organisation with bases around the world. This is thrown into upheaval when Eleven from Stranger Thing’s Mum aligns herself with some ecoterrorists to heal the world by releasing the Titans and put things back into balance without all that pesky Infinity Gauntlet non-sense.
Things go south as another Alpha Titan is released first, the 3 headed King Ghidorah (a modern Hydra) which leads to more creatures being let loose and covering the planet. Godzilla might lose his first round after ripping off one of King Ghidorah’s three heads but comes back after being supercharged to defeat and take his place as the Alpha thus all other Kaiju across the world basically bow to him and go back to hibernation. With an end credits scene seeing that lopped off head being bought by the same ecoterrorists and a tease of Skull Island. Ok now you are all caught up.
Godzilla vs Kong is the latest film in the series and not since Snakes of a Plane has a movie come along that needed less explanation for what it is about from its title. Kong, now much more grown has been living in isolation on a now very contained and Monarch base of Skull Island. The only other known Alpha Titan besides Godzilla and kept very separate due to a known rivalry between the two.
Taking place an unknown amount of time since the last film (maybe a couple of years going off the number of Podcast episodes about Titans that show up in the film, there are some questions about timeline), while Kong hangs out Godzilla has been launching attacks across the world for unknown reasons, either attacked or provoked the end result is some Godzilla rage happening with attacks happening from Florida to Hong Kong. Leading to a hope that the answer to defeating Godzilla may be in the Hollow Earth which can only be found with an Alpha Titan to lead there.
And that is pretty much it. This is not shakespeare in the park happening here and even in comparison to previous films of the modern series the human interactions take backseat as this is a King Kong movie with Godzilla in it. There is no 8 minute grabs here with the action being large and LOUD! Seriously if you have an aversion to loud noises you may need some earplugs as when there are Titans on screen the volume doesn’t get turned up to 11, we are talking at least 13.
So should you go see it? If you saw the trailer for this one or just 100% up for anything Kong or Godzilla related then absolutely. This is Kaiju fighting movie heaven with the latest CGI to make you believe a giant Ape really can parkour off of skyscrapers with a giant glowing Axe. While the film is loud the action is epic and is absolutely a big screen film if you can see it safely. Will you enjoy it more if you see the previous films before going and seeing it? Probably but let’s be honest you were never going to see this one for the plot.
Godzilla vs Kong is in cinemas across Australia right now