Having recently watched both “Kong: Skull Island” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” in the past few weeks, the release of the trailer for “Godzilla vs. Kong” was super exciting. Kong is effing HUGE now, 60 years after K:SI. New characters abound with Alexander Skarsgard and Rebecca Hall as well as returning members Millie Bobbie Brown and Kyle Chandler from G:KofM. But what the hell is up with Godzilla? Why is he destroying everything? Why are he and Kong pitted against each other, seemingly instinctually? What does this mean for the rest of the Titans who bow to Godzilla?
So many great questions from so little in the trailer, but DAMN the action looks incredible.
The beginning: Godzilla (2014)
I really enjoyed “Godzilla” back in 2014. It was a little long as I recall as I nearly nodded off in the comfy leather seats the AMC Theater on 84th and Broadway in Manhattan (guys, remember movie theaters…?). But despite whatever faults it may have had, it was a really fun flick. Brian Cranston was great, as was Aaron-Taylor Johnson. I was really excited to see more of these movies from Gareth Edwards.
Kong: Skull Island
This one I didn’t see in theaters, mostly because I thought it was a silly cash-grab following up the disappointing “King Kong” Peter Jackson over-made in 2005. Come to find out, it functions both as a sequel and a reboot of sorts that connects to “Godzilla” (2014). And it is a freaking blast. Set in the 1970s at the tail end of the Vietnam War, it connects the films through the secret research agency Monarch, barely holding on and desperate for government aid to find the Titans. When satellite photos reveal for the first time Skull Island, they head out searching for Kong and what they believe may be access to and proof of their “Hollow Earth” theory which is paramount to the Titans and this universe of monsters. High action, the right amount of comedy and heart, and a supreme cast of soon-to-be Marvel Universe alumni. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I watched “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” shortly thereafter.
The journey continues with Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Fast-forward to present day and Vera Farmiga’s character Dr. Emma Russell has developed a device called the Orca which acts as a sonar-type device that connects with Titans and affects their emotions. Its first use is to calm Mothra, but it quickly stolen by Charles Dance’s Alan Jonah, the leader of a fringe group bent on saving the planet by unleashing the Titans to take us all back to zero, basically. Not a great plan, but Jonah seems like a real dickbag. They end up unleashing Monster Zero from the Antarctic ice and it turns out, he’s not a Titan at all and everything goes to shit real fast. But don’t worry, Godzilla will save us.
Even watching it in pieces as I had to, it was non-stop and incredibly engaging. I don’t often sit and watch movies unless I’m on the couch with a glass of wine with the wife, but I stopped what I was working on and watched this movie. The ending is – dare I say – emotional. I even recently plugged both these films to friends during a Zoom hang and sounded like a crazy person for liking Godzilla movies so much, but I didn’t care! They’re really good. Disappointed to read about Edwards’ departure early on, but Michael Dougherty did a bang-up job with this flick.
What happens next?
What is going on with Godzilla? Why is he attacking Kong, aside from the obvious he’s fucking huge and terrifying. Who are Skarsgard and Hall in the modern day and why are they bringing Kong to (presumably) the main land? But most of all, what even larger threat has both of them on-guard and keyed up? I can’t wait to find out in March!
What do you think about Legendary/Universal’s new Monsterverse? Have you been digging them as much as I have?