Directed by: Adam Wingard Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir
Available to purchase for viewing on premium digital services from March 31st
So the first of the year’s blockbusters has arrived, and instead of settling down to watch it on an IMAX screen with a large popcorn and soft drink, you will have to access it in your living room, possibly wearing your pyjamas and drinking yet more tea, following yet another Zoom meeting. CoronoaVirus is the gift that keeps on giving! (If you’re reading this from one of the few places where cinemas are open at the moment I hope you appreciate how lucky you are!) In fact, this was originally slated for a November 2020 release date, but our aforementioned virus friend meant it was bumped until now.
This is part of the fourth film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, and acts as sequel to both Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Kong: Skull Island (2017). And as the title suggests, you have two gargantuan Titans going at it on screen. I can’t account for your watching device, so I am going to review this from my experience of home viewing. Although before I say anything I should mention that the bigger screen you can view this on the more you will enjoy it.
Picking up five years after the events of Skull Island, Kong is living in a giant dome (due to collapsed eco system something, something) monitored by Monarch, and to all intents and purposes he seems relatively happy. Of course, the obvious thing to do when a Titan like Kong gets comfortable is to move him against his will. And that’s just what happens (didn’t see that coming did you?) as a lightly sedated Kong is transported on a barge to Hollow Earth, so that a new power source can be investigated (science bit something, something). The whys and wherefores don’t really matter, as this is simply a means to ensure that our two titular characters clash, and indeed Godzilla does attack the barge, leading to the first epic battle between these two ancient creatures.
I say first because director Wingard clearly realises that these scenes are the money shots. We are treated to several of them and they are truly epic. The effects are wonderful, and the scenes never fall into the trap of looking cluttered as so often happens in these CGI action movies. Even watching at home it was impressive, so I can only imagine what this would look like on the big screen as it was intended. It seems more really is more when it comes to monster movies. That extends to the sound. This movie is LOUD! Hopefully your neighbours won’t think you’re breaking CoVid restrictions and having a party. You have been warned. The sound mixing is excellent here and as much of a star as the CGI.
Oh yeah, some stuff happens with humans in this too. But it’s really incidental. The stellar cast are more there for their star power than anything else, as the real stars here are in the title. They all give decent performances, but their roles really aren’t that challenging. They do a lot of science stuff that moves the plot along, but really only marks time until Godzilla and Kong meet again.
This is a rip roaring action filled blockbuster, and great fun. It is definitely worth paying for the viewing instead of waiting until it shows up on one of your subscription services. But it will also definitely make you miss cinema more than ever, as this is the kind of movie that BEGS to be seen on the big screen. Hopefully Warners will see fit to give it a belated cinema run when they finally reopen, so we can get to see it in all its intended glory.