As movie-goers slowly trickle back into theatres, studios are timing releases of their big blockbusters. The first hit in 2021 was the long-awaited “Godzilla vs. Kong” – a crossover of monsters in Legendary’s Monsterverse first teased at the end of 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island”. It was billed as a fight for the ages between two alpha predators and beloved protectors of humans.  How could one pick a side? *Warning, spoilers ahead*

Rows of red seats in a theater

Based on the trailer alone, “Godzilla vs. Kong” promised to deliver action, special effects, and noise, and boy did it deliver. From the first major scene, it became clear that this movie was painting Godzilla to be the villain and Kong the hero, as Godzilla lays waste to a research lab for the company Apex, seemingly unprovoked. Confused as to why Godzilla is attacking, Apex’s head organizes an expedition to explore Hollow Earth, the supposed home of Titans like Godzilla and Kong, with Kong as their guide.

During Kong’s transportation to an entrance to Hollow Earth in Antarctica, Godzilla attacks and defeats Kong. It is deduced that Godzilla attacked because he felt threatened by Kong’s presence. To the audience, it became clear that the Apex base Godzilla destroyed was likely home to something that could threaten Godzilla, yet to the experts in the movie, that point is lost. 

It is here that “Godzilla vs. Kong” unravels. Not even a third into the movie, the audience knows that Apex is an evil organization and wants to defeat Godzilla, thus re-establishing humans as the Apex species. Knowing this fact made fans salivate in their seats, as they logically put together that the threat Godzilla was trying to eliminate must be MechaGodzilla. Plus, the movie was taking viewers to Hollow Earth!

Alas, instead of spending time exploring some of the lore and mysticism in Hollow Earth, Kong’s journey home creates more questions than answers. The scenes feel rushed and neither shows nor tell what is going on. Instead, Godzilla uses his atomic breath to create a shortcut from exactly where Kong was standing in Hollow Earth right to the fight between Godzilla and MechaGodzilla. 

The fight scenes were great, and the story was interesting and captivating, but far too much time was spent on meaningless character development and too little time was spent on establishing more of the universe. 

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