Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another - the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong - with humanity caught in the balance.
Here we have a case of being that self-aware movie that goes for it by accomplishing its one and only mission. That mission is to show us a massive cgi battle featuring a lizard and a monkey. This is what we want. Not only do we get one battle, but the film is packed with multiple showdowns taking place in the daytime. This is important because we are normally seeing these huge cgi fights at night, but seeing this film is yet another reminder as to how far technology has come. There is not one major flaw within the visuals here, other than one or two questionable camera angles (that didn’t bother me all that much). People talk about some of these blockbusters as “theme park movies,” and there is one tracking shot here that would make the absolute perfect ride at a theme park.
We follow a group of human heroes as they fly through a battle between our two titans, and it looked like the most fun ride one could imagine. This is in no way a knock on the film because that feeling you get from a theme park (thrills, fear, and fun) is exactly what we all need from a film titled Godzilla vs Kong. The ongoing flaw I have with the movies in the current universe is the fact that they often choose to focus on what we don’t care as much about. I could care less about the humans in these movies. Give me a compelling story, and maybe I change my tune, but we have yet to see something well-written on that level. I would argue that the most interesting human story came with 2014’s Godzilla. That combined with Gareth Edwards showcase of scale made that film standout, but it fell short when it came to delivering on the promise of Godzilla.
Kong and King of the Monsters could not keep my interest because they would cut from an incredible action scene to a subplot that I just did not care about. While this film does retread some of these mistakes, and the human characters still do not meet that mark, it does manage to spend far less time on that side of the playground. This time we follow Godzilla (for a bit) and Kong (for awhile) as they keep coming back to each other. What are the motivations? Why are they fighting? What is the meaning behind these two titans clashing? These questions are answered, but the focus is absolutely on the battles themselves. Featuring some awesome choices within these scenes, each titans gets their moment, and the promise of a fun/silly blockbuster comes to life. I like silly if it is self-aware, and this film nails that. We also go on a few unexpected adventures within this overarching story that are so much fun.
As the battles are happening, the score kicks in and enhances the urgency behind each punch. There are a few moments that worked as we would cut back to our two main groups. Brian Tyree Henry plays this conspiracy theorist who has some of the more fun moments of the film, but the heart goes to Kaylee Hottle who has this unexpected relationship with Kong himself. Most of the rest are throwaways, but again, the film rarely wastes time on them when it doesn’t need to. They are essentially there for connective tissue as opposed to being the central focus (thankfully). The cheese is present for sure, but it all settles in during this wild third act. The entirety of the third act is full of action; what more could we want? Overall, Godzilla vs Kong doesn’t exceed expectations, but it absolutely delivers on the promise of being a fun blockbuster.
Thank you all for reading my reviews! If you would like to support my YouTube channel, be sure to head that way and check out my video review! If you enjoy the content, drop a 👍🏻 to help the channel out! Click HERE