Godzilla vs. Kong: a monstrously formulaic movie


Ryan Dorsey

Despite the hype, there’s nothing worth watching except the special effects.

by Ryan Dorsey, Reporter

Godzilla vs. Kong in the first two weeks had already captured $350 million at the box office. Directed by Adam Wingard, this movie is the newest in the line of Warner Bros. monster films. The movie is about Kong, a giant ape, and those who protect him while undergoing a dangerous journey to find his true home. They encounter an enraged Godzilla, a giant lizard who can shoot lasers. 

If you’re looking for a complex dialogue, character-driven masterpiece of a movie, this is definitely not your movie. If you’re looking for a fun, city-smashing film, including a massive brawl between two giant monsters, this is the perfect movie. 

The viewer is roped in pretty quickly. It begins by showing Kong, a Titan-sized ape, in his habitat, a giant dome–like a super-sized zoo/cage– where he showcases his strength. Trouble begins quickly as soon after, Godzilla begins to emerge from the ocean off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. Godzilla destroys a large tech corporation. This creates an intense mood and showcases the effects right away.

Something unique in the plot is that Jia, a deaf orphan who sees Kong in the dome, shares a special connection with Kong and is able to communicate with him using sign language. 

Scientists decide to return Kong to the wild. Kong is being restrained on a large boat with giant handcuffs. While transporting Kong across the ocean, the crew of Kong and his protectors cross an angry Godzilla. Godzilla attacks Kong while he is restrained. In an effort to free Kong and let him defend himself, the ship is flipped upside down. Finally Kong is freed and a combination of his fighting and missiles being shot at Godzilla scares the giant lizard off. 

This scene is one of only a few scenes that has the viewer’s eyes glued to the screen. The rest is filler.

While Godzilla did get the better of Kong in their final encounter, somewhat predictably, the ending involved the two monsters banding together to fight a common enemy. They teamed up to destroy Mechagodzilla. This was predictable, as in the past, other movies that sell the movie as a fight between two big characters, like Batman vs Superman end with the two characters teaming up to defeat a larger enemy. 

My big issue with the film is that the multiple side stories that included characters Madison, Bernie, and Josh breaking into the tech company (Apex Cybernetics) trying to discover the secrets about Godzilla, felt almost like filler. Other than tying into the story a few times and giving some background information, it almost feels like they were “comic” relief. The dialogue was also uninspired in both side stories.

It seemed like throughout the film I felt myself bored, waiting for another fight scene. The positives of this movie are that the fight scenes were creative. The effects were a sight to see, and the movie didn’t take itself too seriously.  As much as the movie was hyped up, it felt like your average monster movie, just with a giant budget.

Besides the very cool fight scenes, the movie was formulaic. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film is rated a 7.5/10. I think that is a generous. I would rate it as a 5/10.