After the COVID-19 pandemic hammered the entire world in March of 2020, the movie industry slowed down, debatably in quality and invariably in quantity of output. One explanation for that is the difficulty of filming in restricted conditions, but the true reason being that studios have no motivation to release films they’ve poured hundreds of millions of dollars into a world where most theaters are either still closed or have limited capacity. However, one of the first real and true blockbuster films to be released since the beginning of that pandemic is Godzilla vs. Kong, released at the end of March of 2021, marking the first theater experience in months for hundreds of thousands of people, including me.
The anticipation for Godzilla vs. Kong was confounding, built less off brand recognition and more off a silly, meme-y debate over which colossus would be victorious over the other. Most knew the film would not end in a decisive win for either, but they were there for the fight regardless, and the scale of it is truly titanic. Pun intended.
Its enormity is arguably its failure, however, with the impact of each titan’s blows restricted by their cumbersome size and the limits of CGI. As with many blockbusters, the plot is needlessly labyrinthine, a result of multiple continued strands from previous films and two largely independent plot lines, with Millie Bobby Brown’s portion feeling unnecessary and shoehorned.
Admittedly, these are all nit-picks. Comments on the trees, disregarding the forest. Usually, holistic consideration of blockbusters is unproductive, as the films often contain no significance, but Godzilla vs. Kong has smidgens of intrigue. Sidestepping spoilers, the film’s third act is Frankenstein-ian, the movie’s ginormous magnitude scoring humanity’s desire to become gods, and the defeat of the final antagonist emphasizing the futility of our attempts to do so through technological innovation. Our attempts at transcendence become houses of cards, the bigger we build them the less stable they are.
But as I said, these are only smidgens of intrigue, not artistic significance. The big picture of Godzilla vs. Kong is Godzilla fighting King Kong, the big gorilla vs. the big lizard. It’s an entertaining movie, and if you’re considering going back to the theaters, Godzilla vs. Kong packs the size to justify the trip.