This is actually the first review I did of the Monsterverse trilogy, so I apologize if there are any repeats in this one.
So after Godzilla (2014) I resolved to never, ever again watch another one of the Godzilla films. You see I grew up watching all the old Godzilla films and I was so, so, so disappointed in the fact that we hardly had any Godzilla but it was just MUTO. It also was extremely boring and had a bunch of other issues. Yep, never-ever again.
But this past April I was watching my niece for her Spring Break and she wanted to see Godzilla Vs. King Kong. I did not want to watch it, but as it was my niece asking, I gave in. It actually was kind of circular as the last film I watched before everything shut down was King Kong (1933) and the first film I saw coming back in was a King Kong film.
So at this point in time I haven’t yet seen Kong: Skull Island but hopefully I can still follow everything.
Since writing this review I have watched the other two films that came prior to this one, (although I still have a lot of questions that were not answered). If interested in those reviews go to Kong: Skull Island or Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
So the world has changed since we last saw Godzilla, as the world is recovering from the destruction he caused. To me it seemed this film was split into three storylines:
Madison Russell and the Curious Case of What is Really Going on at the Apex Corporation
So one man has a podcast and he believes something strange is going down at Apex, a genetic corporation. He has infiltrated the company and believes himself to finally be on the cusp of a big scoop. As he tries to investigate what they are hiding, Godzilla attacks.
Everyone is upset and freaking out, except for Madison. They think they need to find a way to stop Godzilla, as all believe the way he protected them from the other Titans in the last film is over and that Godzilla is just going to harass and destroy everything and people everywhere. (Even though in every previous film he clearly only attacked when there was a titan/monster/alien.) But he did destroy a lot of things, so it does make sense that people are scared.
Madison still trusts Godzilla since he saved them last time and thinks something shady must be going down at Apex for Godzilla to attack when he only protects. Her dad, Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) does not agree with her, and even though we saw in the last film how he would go to the ends of the Earth for his teenage daughter, in this her dad is really kind of checked out. He doesn’t seem to be worried about Madison, hardly checks in with her to see if she is okay, and even heads out to China to help with relief efforts without even speaking to his daughter. Like he doesn’t make sure to see her before he goes, or just make sure she has all she needs as he will be on the other side of the planet.
I mean she is a minor, she only has one parent, and he’s leaving her home after Godzilla just attacked their state to help in a country where Godzilla is going to attack. If she died or was injured he wouldn’t know where to find her or even start looking. If he died or was injured who’s going to take care of her? But more importantly, what happened to his character development?
Anyways, she is reluctantly joined by her friend in the search for the podcaster, as Madison believes she and him are the only ones who can find the truth. She and her friend do mange to track him down and she convinces him to break into the facility with her. She treats her friend really bad though, bullying him into coming along with them. And neither child tells an adult where they are or planning to go to, so if anything happens-no one will be there to save them.
When they get to the Apex facility they hear people coming and of course hide in the pods that are to be shipped to China (something the podcaster had thought odd as they were shipping a lot to China, to a facility that can’t really handle the volume…or can it?) and end up being shipped to China. All I can think is what a nightmare that will be trying to come home. They have no money, no passports, they have illegally entered another country, it will be one serious mess.
After they arrive in China they don’t try to leave but continue to investigate and discover a large animal pen that it seems something is fighting something else. They also find some leftover monsters bits and all I can think of none of these people are movie fans as this room looks like the dinosaur pen they used for the demonstrations in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom when they were having the monsters “prove” themselves for the auction. It also made me think of the pen they throw Luke in, in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and the one the crew fights in, in Galaxy Quest.
There the group sees a mechanical Godzilla fighting, yes we have MECHAGODZILLA!!! So for all you who don’t know, I grew up watching the old Godzilla’s and LOVED them. My brother and mom were giant fans and it was the only thing that my brother, who was eleven years older, was willing to do with me. My absolute favorite was Mechagodzilla and I was so pleased to see MechaGodzilla in this, but it turns out he misses 2/3 of the film.
What a ripoff! I’d rather see more more fighting of him then some of the other storylines.
Yes, it turns out that Apex stole a Rodan head from the previous film and have been using it to create their own Godzilla to fight and put mankind on top of the food chain. Madison is horrified at this, but the scientists at Apex are convinced it is the only way. By using the Rodan head they are also able to use his telepathic powers and communicate from the Rodan skull to the MechaGodzilla. They decide to fill it with a giant boost of electricity, but when they do it goes all Frankenstein, becomes alive, takes out its creators, and runs free into China-destroying it.
Journey to the Center of Hollow Earth with Professor Lind, His Companions, and Associate King Kong
So this was what a majority of the film spent its time on and to be honest I thought this was the least interesting part of the film. Both my niece and I felt like the film seemed rather short and that there was too much Kong and not enough Godzilla.
So Kong is living on Skull Island where they keep him in a Truman Show like prison, including a fake top to make it always sunny and bright. The leading Kong specialist is there with the last remaining survivor of the native people from Skull Island, a little dead girl who is “friends” with Kong. The team there grows worried as the facility is not going to be able to hold him forever and they don’t know what they will do when it can’t. They also worry about Godzilla as the ancient drawings foretell of the two fighting and bringing destruction to Earth.
But what happened to all the other people? How did they construct this? They did not answer those questions in Kong: Skull Island. How did this woman become the expert on Kong? How long have they had this dome?
In a University in America, professor Linton (Alexander Skarsgard), is sitting in his little office when he is approached by the head of Apex. Apex tells him he is fascinated by his book and his theories of a Hollow Earth, the idea of a world inside ours where these monstrous creatures/Titans come from, and also possibly still roam. This is very much like Journey to the Center of the Earth and I 100% believe that the professor is based off the one in the book. I do like that in the previous film they had mentioned this Professor Linton and his book, nice job on the continuity.
Apex want Professor Linton to launch a new expedition, but he is not interested as his brother died trying to go into the center of the earth. The theory is impossible to test as the pressure is too great to handle with its reverse gravitational pull and kills anyone who tries to go through the only opening they have currently found, in Antarctica. (This makes me think a lot of Alien Vs. Predator.)
It turns out APEX has been building something to help conquer the gravitational pull as they encourage the professor to try it as it is necessary better understand these giant creatures and maybe find a way to lure them all home. This whole encounter gave me really weird vibes and I can’t believe the Professor wasn’t questioning why they were being so philanthropic. I would immediately be wondering what they were really after.
But professor wants to experiment, so he agrees. But before they can go he does need something, he needs someone originally from that area to lead them back-he needs a Titan. He needs Kong. He decides to pay a visit to an old friend, and possibly ex-girlfriend (there is a vibe), who is the leading Kong expert.
At first Dr. Andrews isn’t eager to help, but when he convinces her that Kong could go home, where he will be much happier than his gilded cage, along with the possibility that he might not be the only one and able to actually have a family: she agrees. But she will only help if she can join the expedition with her adopted daughter, the native girl. They are also joined by some other scientists, the military, and the daughter of the the head of APEX, Maia.
They travel through the sea and of course attract the attention of Godzilla. The two fight, them having to unchain Kong, and the fight was alright. I thought the Godzilla KOTM film was much better. I mean this whole concept is hard for me as Kong is just a giant ape while Godzilla can shoot fire from his mouth!
They manage to stop the fight only when they shut off all the power and pretend to be dead. They airlift Kong the rest of the way, the daughter, Jia, convincing him to go down and see his “family” and they all go through to Hollow Earth which reminds me exactly of Journey to the Center of the Earth book by Jules Verne.
There Kong finds “his” throne room and an axe made with a scale from Godzilla. He places it in a slot and it shoots out a signal that attracts Godzilla who shoots a hole down to Kong and Hollow Earth. There the APEX’s CEO daughter, Maia, uses a machine to send the signal back, I was a little confused at to how this worked exactly, but it is just what her father needed to power up MechaGodzilla.
Maia and her group try to leave but are crushed by Kong, making professor and co the only ones to escape. When they come above ground, Kong and Godzilla meet up and fight. Which leads us to…
Godzilla Versus Kong Versus MechaGodzilla
So for a film that is titled Godzilla versus Kong, it actually doesn’t make up that much of the film. The fights scenes were okay, but again one is flesh, fur, bone, and strength. The other has plates, is strong, and can shoot Fire! Godzilla can shoot fire, he is obviously going to win!
The two fight with Godzilla at a slight disadvantage as he used a lot of his Fire when shooting the hole to Kong. The fight scene is cool and of course Godzilla overpowers Kong and knocks him out, leaving him to go off to fight MechaGodzilla.
Kong is dying is like I said, Godzilla has FIRE! And the only way to revive him is to restart Kong’s heart. If only they had a machine with enough juice to light Las Vegas. Oh wait! They do! Good thing the APEX CEO had mentioned that one he first met the professor about his new machines. They use it to restart his heart and he is up again.
Meanwhile MechaGodzilla has been going on a rampage and fighting Godzilla, being too much for him to handle (false in my book). Kong and Godzilla team up to fight, Godzilla superpowering Kong’s axe.
Meanwhile MechaGodzilla’s controls are trying to be hacked by Madison and co but they are extremely unsuccessful. Her friend has the idea to use Bernie’s flask of alcohol that he always has on him (for his last drink) and throws it on the controls, short circuiting him as Kong gives the final whack. Afte they defeat MechaGodzilla, Godzilla and Kong give each other a nod and decide not to fight, each going their own way.
We end the film with Madison running outside APEX and just happening to find her dad in a city of a bazillion people, where everyone has been running around scared. Meanwhile, Kong, Prof, & co all head to Hollow Earht for a a happily ever after
Yeah, this was way better than Godzilla (2014) but I think King of Monsters was a much better film with plot and action. This one was not only really plot heavy but only focused on Kong instead of the two of them. I also think the use of previous characters were nice but they didn’t really add much to the story. We could have had the same story without them. This film didn’t make me want to get my money back like Godzilla (2014) or Kong, but I also felt really meh about it all.
The Facebook cover photo:
For more King Kong, go to Kong’s God on the Island, But the Devils Live Below Us: Kong, Skull Island (2017)
For more monsters, go to Peculiarities, Monsters, and Time Travel.: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)