If there was a movie to celebrate the film medium in theaters, then it would be Godzilla vs Kong. It’s a tale of two colossal forces of nature, raging against each other as it is in the nature of these two Alpha Titans and cinematic legends.
Having spent over a year away from movie theaters, I was fortunate enough to make my first out-of-home film experience, Godzilla vs Kong, safely in the socially distanced setting of a drive-in theatre. And let me just say, this movie was made for the classic experience of the drive-in theatre.
First off, the collective audio experience from not just your own car but those around you really enhance the larger than life feeling of watching Kong and Godzilla on the big screen in front of you
It’s worth noting that the amazing visuals effects aren’t just for generating the Alpha Titans and their trail of destruction, but also the various environments and settings Godzilla vs Kong takes us.
The film literally takes you all around the world, from the American West to Asia, as well as Antarctica and even the (hollow) inside of Earth.
For a film of epic proportions such as Godzilla vs Kong there’s so much for me to say the film beyond a simple review. Since the moment I saw the first trailer, I consumed as much material as I could find on the web to re-familarize myself with the related movies leading up to this matchup as well as content specific to the new film.
“Godzilla and Kong have an incredible legacy in film. Originally you could look at them almost as monsters from the East and West, Godzilla storming Tokyo and Kong being brought by man to New York,” director Adam Wingard said. “But however you perceive them, they are movie icons that excite audiences all across the globe.”
Storyline-wise, I enjoyed the balance between the different human characters and the respective Titan they were involved with. However, it did feel slightly biased towards Kong with what felt like more screen time for him which set him up to be the primary protagonist from my perspective.
Kong, King of the Apes
“We need Kong. The world needs him… to stop what’s coming,” said Dr. Nathan Lind, played by Alexander Skarsgård.
Kaylee Hottle plays Jie, an orphan from Skull Island, and the only human Kong has a bond with as she is the only one without fear of the giant ape. This continues the tradition of King Kong having an emotional connection with the female protagonists in the films he appears in.
“Traditionally, King Kong’s emotional relationship with the female protagonist is always something that really draws me in and helps me empathize with him, and we wanted to put our own spin on that in this story. We wanted a character to really have a unique bond with Kong, so the fact that Jia cannot hear anything and communicates with sign language felt like a new evolution of what we could do with Kong, who is always seen as a very intelligent character,” Wingard said.
Godzilla, King of the Monsters
In addition to this new cast of characters, familiar ones from the past films also appear and serve important roles, such as Madison Russell played by Millie Bobby Brown who has appeared in Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters as his greatest advocate.
“Like all kids, she has something to say and she wants to be heard, to have a voice,” said Brown. “For me, that’s what she’s always brought to the table as part of her family: a point of view. It might be different from her parents, but she’s always been around their work as scientists, so it’s had an effect on her, and now she’s really good at educating herself about what’s going on, especially where Godzilla’s concerned.”