I watched Godzilla vs. Kong. I had not expected to watch it, to be honest. And sure, I watched it while on a treadmill. However, I was going to watch it regardless. I had no enthusiasm for it after sitting through Godzilla: King of a Monsters which was pretty disappointing and kind of a snooze. Then the Godzilla vs. Kong trailer dropped and Rebecca Hall, a truly excellent actor, was saying “Kong bows to no one” and I thought for sure I would pass, even though it was on HBO Max. Then, I started to see reviews and they were…unexpectedly good. Fine, I thought, I’ll bite. Maybe it will be dumb fun. It turns out to, indeed, be dumb fun. I just wish it had been more fun, and it could have gotten there by being less dumb. Or, rather, by having fewer dumb human characters.
Here’s what I liked about Godzilla vs. Kong: Whenever giant monsters or robot monsters were fighting. This movie had exciting fights scenes and some cool action sequences. I did not expect to laugh with joy when I saw King Kong punch Godzilla in the face, which was insane, but I did. All the action in the film was en pointe. The problem, though, is that this movie isn’t a pure 100 or so minutes of fighting and action. I know you need some exposition, but the human characters in this movie are a slog. This was also true in the first two Godzilla movies, and in Kong: Skull Island only John C. Reilly made much of an impact. Rebecca Hall can only do so much. Damian Belchir clearly had fun, and his hamminess fit right in. I liked having a human villain. Brian Tyree Henry’s character is all over the place in terms of my enjoyment level, but I didn’t mind having him either. They could have pared down to, like, four human characters, had them get some exposition out there, and the rest of the film could have been fights. Mecha-Godzilla showed up! More of him!
I feel like a lot of movies feel like they need that human element. They need characters and emotional arcs. Maybe you need a smidge of that, but then again maybe you don’t. When people watch Godzilla vs. Kong, they are almost assuredly there to see, you know, Godzilla fight Kong. Why not give the people what they want? The fight scenes bow to no one, but everything else truly feels like fat that could have been cut. Future action movies and monster flicks take heed.