HBO Go review: 'Godzilla vs Kong' offers an epic battle of 2 titans

Fred Hawson

Posted at Jun 26 2021 06:17 AM

HBO Go review: 'Godzilla vs Kong' offers an epic battle of 2 titans 1
A scene from 'Godzilla vs Kong.' Handout

In 2017, there was "Kong: Skull Island." In 2019, there was "Godzilla: King of the Monsters." The inevitable sequel to these two films would logically be a film that would bring these two titans together. 

One night, Godzilla went on a sudden rampage in the facility of Apex Cybernetics in Pensacola, Florida. Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry), an engineer at Apex and voice of Titan Truth podcast, theorized that Godzilla must have been provoked to attack by a secret robotics project in their facility. A fan of the podcast, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), a daughter of Monarch scientists, went to help Bernie in his mission, with her nerdy friend Josh (Julian Dennison) in tow. 

Meanwhile, Hollow Earth researcher Dr. Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgaard) was offered by Apex owner Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir) to retrieve a life force energy source located under the earth's surface. Lind contacts Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) in the belief that Kong can lead the way there through an entrance in Antarctica. Dr. Andrews had an adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle), a mute island girl who had learned to communicate with Kong with sign language. 

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This film is really all about Godzilla and Kong fighting each other, and these were absolutely the best parts. The computer-generated images of the two titans were very well-executed and seeing them in action together was exhilarating. The two first had an explosive brawl among a fleet of battleships in the middle of the Tasman Sea. Later, they clashed in an epic battle in the neon-lit streets of Hong Kong. When a fully-energized Mechagodzilla joined in the fray the next day, it was more than awesome. 

All the human characters were very noisy and annoying as they usually were in films like this, and the less seen of them the better. I wished there was no need for any significant human intervention that would affect the outcome of the major fights, but of course there was. It was human action that saved Kong from being smothered by a Hollow Earth creature, revived Kong when he had a cardiac arrest, and kept Kong from being drilled to death by a rotatory tail. It was clear that Kong needed humans just to survive this movie. 

Godzilla may be billed first in the title, but the script tended to favor Kong, which irritated me as I was rooting for Godzilla. Giving Kong the ability to communicate with a little girl was not fair play at all, as it would gain more audience sympathy. 

Anyhow, whoever you are rooting for, this is one of those movies that make you regret that you are not watching it on the biggest screen possible with the best surround sound possible. Grand spectacles like this need to be experienced in a movie theater, and we hope we can get that back soon. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."