The end of the apocalyptic scontro tra Godzilla e Ghidorah in King of the Monsters ended with “the coronation” of the Predator Alpha as the absolute ruler of the Titans, with that goyana image and full of sense of the sublime of all the monsters that knelt before him, on the rubble of one of the greatest metropolises of human civilization. The flight of thousands of survivors from Boston and that incalculable global destruction bode well a genuinely more catastrophic future for the world, which we don’t see in Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs Kong – direct sequel to Michael Dougherty’s title. The mass awakening of the Titans has in fact forced humanity to make a significant technological leap, as well as some choices of forced coexistence with these mammoth beings now free to trample the Earth. Alongside the Monarch, in context, in five years begins to gain power and success the Apex Cybernetics, a multinational whose outposts are mysteriously attacked and destroyed by a furious Godzilla, whose actions begin to worry humanity not a little, now considered by public opinion no longer an ally but a real threat.
Kong in the meantime is kept under observation on Skull Island, inside an artificial dome that replicates his habitat within which he is closely studied by Dr. Ilene Andrews. When Apex decides to turn to Doctor Mark Russell (Alexander Skarsgard) to reach the Hollow Earth, the latter he believes it is Kong who can guide them to that ecosystem close to the core of the world, thus asking Andrews to “lend it” to him for this mission. There is only one problem: Kong is also a Titan and is likely to attract an already mad Godzilla as a matter of territorial supremacy, but as Andrews always says “Kong does not bow to anyone“And that’s how the fight was served.
The human part
As we have already pointed out in our in-depth study on MonsterVerse, the film project by Legendary Pictures e Warner Bros. has arrived with this expected crossover at an important turning point, putting an end to a first macro-narrative arc, let’s say origins, and laying the foundations for the future of the franchise. Adam Wingard’s film is a mix of styles, virtuosities and errors in a broad sense, in the concept, in the form and in the substance, while managing to emerge in an extraordinary way compared to the previous chapters of the saga as regards the action.
Starting from the story, the problem is always the same: the human part of the story. It is something inherent in the development of such distorted stories of truthfulness, but in fact the entire component of characters that surround the clashes and paths of the two protagonist Titans it is always and punctually problematic. There is no proper study and no real interest in their fate: more a pretext of protagonism than anything else, useful as a narrative push to the story, to underline the now canonical dualism between good and evil, to compare the healthy and the corrupt part of humanity. It was useless to take award-winning and important performers such as Rebecca Hall or Alexander Skarsgard, whose looks and performances do not return neither depth nor emotions, while more successful is the comic relief of the very hot Bryan Tyree Henry as an anti-Apex conspiracy theorist who collaborates with Madison Russell di Millie Bobby Brown.
To be sure, looking at the universality of the story itself, it is Eric Pearson’s script directly that is frighteningly superfluous but substantial for the purposes of the story, and this is evident from the ideas sketched and the speed of the cinematic succession of events, as well as from the comic villain.
Despite everything, it is about a step up from Godzilla II: King of the Monsters and something closer to Kong: Skull Island. The truth is, however, that in a film called Godzilla vs Kong, the psychological deepening of the human part does not matter, which is why it should be eliminated as much as possible. if the intention and focus reside elsewhere, an element that unfortunately for seven years now seems very important for Warner and Legendary, at least in a pretext sense. In a crossover of just two hours that must show what is promised in the title, however, with times and attendance percentages wrong.
The monstrous part!
Fortunately, everything related to the stage presence of the two Titans, the direction of the fights and the stylistic vision of the film, on the contrary, it is something highly spectacular. We said above of an explosive mix: Adam Wingard managed to combine the sense of aesthetics of Skull Island and King of the Monsters together, creating however something unique within the MonsterVerse franchise, another title markedly son of the inspiration and will of the author chosen to direct it. Translated into cinema, this means a satisfying contrast between ecosystems (natural, urban, alien) filmed or reproduced on the big screen with precise specificities, so as to transport the public on a journey that, albeit short, it is intense, varied and never (really never) repetitive.
Kong’s most significant screen-time would perhaps have demanded a reversal of names in the official title, because the real protagonist of the story is him. Godzilla is seen for a large part of the story as an enemy and his appearances are sporadic and in any case less pronounced in the narrative sense within the story, and this is because there is a mystery to be revealed. The idea is crystal clear and the in-depth study is all aimed at Kong, who from the Skull Island is precipitated into the high seas towards Hollow Earth.
His journey to this World in the World, predatory and ancient, is something of extremely powerful in its cinematic synthesis and conceptual, able to show and frame in a short time a sort of alien planet with completely unknown flora and fauna, where the above is the below and vice versa, in a landscape photograph sci-fi impressionist e, come per King of the Monsters, sublime.
Less impactful and articulated is Godzilla’s journey, as we explained, that when he meets his opponent Kong, the last Titan able to threaten him, it gives rise to exaggerated and satisfying clashes, from the one on the high seas shown in the trailer to the ones they occupy the beauty of almost 40 minutes, all included in the third and final act of the crossover. And speaking of precisely this, confirming the actual presence of a winner in the clash between Godzilla vs Kong as stated by Wingard, the final act of the film is probably the sensationalist apex of the MonsterVerse so far: loud, engaging, huge, impressive and never submissive towards the promises made to the public.
This is a great Wingard victory and a (long) moment of genre cinema that we really wanted to see on the big screen, in a shared viewing experience that would have accentuated the effect of extraordinary magnificence of those clashes between atomic winds, giant axes, neon of every color and a truly threatening mechagodzilla. Unfortunately, we must be satisfied with smart TV and sofa, hoping for a glorious future in the continuation of the franchise.