I still remember the end of September in 1998, when my high school friend Patrik was coming home over the weekend from his military service. We have talked for a long time that we needed to go and see the new Godzilla film that was coming out in theatres across Sweden, and we bought tickets on that premiere weekend. We were both big fans of director Roland Emerich´s previous films Stargate, and Independence Day of course, and our expectations were actually pretty high. I remember as we walked into the theatre, there was a big Godzilla figure in cardboard material, and we both got really hyped. We did get the Godzilla popcorn meny, becuase who would not want to hold the Godzilla meny while watching the film? We saw the film in 3D, and we had a really good time. Remember, this was 1998 and the CGI effects at that time was completely different than today. I used to enjoy the 1998 version of Godzilla, when the film came out. But times changed, and CGI effects got a lot better, and the 1998 version of Godzilla did not age very well. I actually did a 20 years anniversary review of Godzilla, the 1998 film in 2018, and i talked about why this film does not feel very entertaining. There are a few fun scenes in the film, but the 1998 version of Godzilla is a perfect example of why some 90´s films does not feel as entertaining as the film did at the release. And it was in 2014 when we really got the Godzilla film we all have been waiting for, when director Gareth Edwards ( who also directed the very interesting sci fi horror film Monsters, released in 2010 ) released his version of Godzilla in theatres. Still to this day, this is still my favourite Godzilla film. I did enjoy the 2019 film Godzilla II: King Of The Monsters as well, but still felt that the 2014 film told a more interesting story. And here we are with the latest Godzilla film in 2021, where Godzilla get to face another legendary beast known as Kong. Having these 2 iconic film characters on screen, fighting each other does sound like fun. The question is, does Godzilla Vs. Kong deliver more than we expected, or is this just a desperate cash grab just to fool the audience?
Five years after Godzilla defeated King Ghidorah, Kong is monitored by Monarch within a giant dome on Skull Island. Kong is visited by Jia ( Kaylee Hottle ), the last Iwi native, who is deaf and communicates with sign language to Kong. Kong expert Dr. Ilene Andrews ( Rebecca Hall ) had no idea that Kong understood sign language, but realise that Jia might be useful, through the communication between Kong and humans. Godzilla have been attacking humans for an unknown reason, and Apex Cybernetics needs Kong to help them stop Godzilla´s mysterious rampage´s.
I was a bit concerned going into this film that we would not get the epic fights, that you would expect from a film like this. Because when you mix both of these monsters together, you want to see some really powerful action scenes. And the good news is, we do get some fun scenes between Godzilla and Kong, but also seeing Kong fight other monsters as well ( as he did in Kong: Skull Island ). The strength of Godzilla Vs. Kong are the action scenes, no doubt about that. And the CGI effects also deliver some fun moments, that we were hoping for. So what is the weakness of this film? Unfortunately, there are not many characters here that you really care about. Some of the actors don´t really give a performance that match the level of quality as Kong and Godzilla does. And in a film like this to become even more fun, you also need human characters to match with the plot. I will say though that there are especially two characters that do a good job, and that is actors Rebecca Hall and Kaylee Hottle. Their scenes together, especially when they are communicating with sign language, as the character Jia ( played by Kaylee Hottle ) is deaf, definetely give this story a different approach in this genre. And when it turns out that Kong understands Jia´s sign language, i feel that they actually managed to give this film a more dramatic depth than i expected. I would not say the rest of the cast is awful ( Alexander Skarsgård is definetely ok ), but you get a sense that some of the characters are not very well developed. So it all comes down to what makes this film work, and that is basically the action scenes. And that´s ok, since in a film like this you don´t really need a complicated plot. Director Adam Wingard ( who directed one of my favourite home invasion horror films called You´re Next, a must see ), knows how to make an action film like this both fun and entertaining, and there is no doubt, he was the right guy to take on this project. If he only would have given some of the characters a stronger impact, my rating would have climbed even higher. I still feel that Godzilla Vs. Kong is a must see for fans, who appreciate all Godzilla and King Kong films. This is definetely a summer blockbuster for all ages to enjoy, definetely much more fun than the 1998 version of Godzilla ( i guarantee you will admit to that ).