Godzilla Vs. Kong Is an Underwhelming End to the KaijuVerse

Jack Rose, Staff Writer

This article contains spoilers for the following KaijuVerse-related content:

  • Godzilla (2014)
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  • Godzilla vs. Kong

The KaijuVerse is weird. That’s the best way to describe it. For almost seven years, Legendary and Warner Bros MonsterVerse have been presenting a new generation of Kaijus for a new generation of audiences. Where the original Kaiju Films simply had two adults fighting in suits over tiny Japan, modern CGI has enabled the production of major battles of giant creatures. With the climactic battle of Godzilla and Kong fighting, one might say the KaijuVerse rivals the Marvel Cinematic Universe in creativity.

Photo courtesy of IMDb.com.

That’s probably why Godzilla vs. Kong hurt so much. It is, to summarize in one word, meh. With a repeated plot and a less than interesting cast of characters, G v. K is a painful viewing experience.

To start things off, the KaijuVerse has mainly focused on Japan’s favorite God of Destruction. Unfortunately, the king of the monsters seems to have only one interest, staying on top. Every Godzilla movie has happened because Gojira has felt threatened by something becoming the new alpha. In Godzilla, it was the Muto, and in King of the Monsters, there was Ghidora. Just once Godzilla could be threatened by something other than a new apex predator, such as climate change or something.

Also, the acting in this film is bad. A large dynamic of this film is scientist Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) whose adopted daughter is a member of the Iwi tribe, first introduced in Kong: Skull Island. Aside from the offhanded mention that most Iwis have been wiped out due to rain, the dynamic between the pair is awful. This is mostly due to the fact that Hall shows little to no emotion throughout the entire film. But that’s not the worst of it.

Up to this point, every KaijuVerse film’s human aspect has focused on a new cast of characters. Unfortunately, G v. K decided to shoehorn in Milly Bobby Brown. To start off, Brown lacks the talent of acting. After having played a major role in King of the Monsters, she is brought into G v. K purely to have another big name on the cast. Her side quest to help reign in Godzilla could’ve been cut from the plot entirely, and the film might have even be better.

Spoilers beyond this point

As unfortunately disappointing as G v. K is, it’s not without its diamonds in the rough. While there aren’t a ton, here’s a quick list.

  • Hollow Earth is stunningly beautiful
  • Ghidora’s Skull being the brain to MechaGodzilla is a really fun concept.
  • MechaGodzilla’s introduction is awesome.
  • Kong’s Axe, while stupid, looks really cool in the glowing Godzilla.
  • Modern Hong Kong is a perfect place to have a giant monster battle.

There are a few things that are of note. This movie really focuses on the little things. The best example of this is Kong. Where other renditions of Kong have gotten to the Big Apple, this one has lived on a tropical island his entire life. When he is brought to Antarctica, Kong sees snow for the first time and is filled with a sense of wonder. Another thing is that in the scene where MechaGodzilla is introduced, the SkullCrawler he eradicates has a red skull, implying a different breed of SkullCrawler than the ones we see in Skull Island.

Photo courtesy of CNET.com.

Also, when watching a giant monster fight movie, the last thing one might expect is that Kong would need a defibrillator, and then knock his arm back into its socket. But that happens.

Not mentioning at all the horror show that is the quality of this film’s final battle, G v. K is not a great place to end the KaijuVerse. Unfortunately, it’s the ending we get. In an interview with Collider, film director Adam Wingard said on the subject of the KaijuVerse, “You know, these films were leading towards Godzilla versus Kong.”  There’s nothing after this. No more. Godzilla just let Kong go, and we just have to let the KaijuVerse go. Seven years. Four Films. Down the drain.

Definitions:

  • Kaiju: Means strange creature in Japanese. In this context, it means giant monster.
  • KaijuVerse: A fictional universe shared by Kaiju such as Godzilla, Kong and Ghidora.
  • MonsterVerse: American multimedia franchise owned by Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros.
  • Monarch: A major organization in the KaijuVerse dedicated to observing and containing Kaiju.
  • Gojira: Japanese name for Godzilla.