Godzilla vs. Kong Review marks the return of summer blockbusters

Written By Zachary Wittman, A&E Columnist

The last year has been very interesting in the world of cinema. Many highly anticipated films were pushed back and many that did drop underperformed due to theaters being heavily restricted. The idea of a “summer blockbuster” was essentially dead. That is, until last Wednesday. Adam Wingard, the man behind films like You’re Next, Blair Witch, and Death Note seems like an unlikely hero due to his poor track record. However, he brought back the one thing we had been missing for so long; stupid fun. Some spoilers ahead!

I may be biased, as I am a lifelong Godzilla fan, but this movie was everything I think the world needed in terms of entertainment. While musicians ponder the global crisis and filmmakers try to craft a profound look into the human psyche, Wingard lets us shut off our brains for about two hours. Godzilla vs. Kong is the fourth installment of Legendary’s MonsterVerse, the kaiju equivalent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the prior movies have had somewhat mixed reviews, GVK delivers on all fronts.

The story is rather simple. Godzilla is angry that his apex predator status is threatened, so the humans enlist Kong to try and stop him. There is some stereotypical evil corporation stuff with twists you can see coming from miles away, but the plot of these movies are not what is important. What is important is seeing a giant radioactive lizard and a huge monkey beat each other up. And thankfully, Wingard keeps the lights on for these fights so we can actually see what is happening on screen.

It is a little unfair to say the plot doesn’t matter, as this film really does flesh Godzilla and Kong out as characters more. Despite being all in on Team Godzilla, I genuinely sympathized with the giant ape at certain scenes. It felt like the two monsters really had personalities this time around and were living, thinking things, not mindless animals. The one thing I love about this movie is how well executed the fight scenes are. Few kaiju films have ever felt so intimate with their action sequences, as the viewer is directly up in the middle of the fights more often than not. The fight sequences also take up more time in this movie than prior entries and that is all the better. The set pieces throughout the film are so cool to look at, especially the final battle in Hong Kong and the sequence in the Hollow Earth.

Of course, there are tons of throwbacks and easter eggs to prior films. The infamous “tree scene” from the original 1962 King Kong vs. Godzilla is cleverly remade, much to the enjoyment of fans. Surprisingly, the film actually does give a clear winner. Despite this, the expected idea of another monster showing up so the two had to join forces does occur, but wow, what a kaiju to appear. Fans of the Godzilla films will be plenty happy to see an old favorite villain redesigned for the new era. My only complaint about the film is that the final battle against the opposing monster wasn’t longer, but it was still so incredibly fun while it lasted. They also give this film a definitive ending instead of hyping up another movie. I hope that more follow because it seems like this one is doing well in the box office. I haven’t had this much fun watching a movie in a long time.

Maybe it’s because I’m just a huge monster movie fan. Maybe it’s because this was my first time in a theater in over a year. Maybe it’s because I needed to be cheered up. It could be any of those reasons and more, but I truly believe this is the film to remind us that movies can be pure, sugary fun.