SPOILER LEVELS at KAIJŪ-SIZED
(seriously. Avoid this post if you haven’t seen the film.)
Hello-hello and chatter-chatter! (Okay. I waited wayyy too long before posting this…)
Look… literally everyone on the planet’s written up a full review of this one by now, and we’re actually behind the curve (for once), but that’s only because I wanted more people to see it before I came back to expand on my spoiler-free review.
Now that the film’s out in more territories and on certain…
(◐__◐✿) . . . (◔__◔✿)
…”high seas“, I think it’s time I followed up our record-breaking post with something a little… different.
(That last post raked in some real kaijū-sized numbers for us, and I think my favourite reason for anyone ending up on the Corvid Review ever is ‘Best Godzilla vs Kong’ review…)
So… HERE WE GO!
WHAT GODZILLA VS KONG GETS RIGHT /
WHAT GODZILLA VS KONG GETS WRONG
What it gets RIGHT: I don’t really need to say a lot here. Matter of fact, everything I’d want to say here has probably already gone through your heads. BIG MONSTERS! BIG ACTION! But let’s take a look at some of the smaller details… and first! Let’s talk about all the things I called!
ONE! Kong LOVES sashimi (I knew it)! TWO! The callbacks to eating vegetables and electricity (kinda)! And THREE! The fact that if MechaGodzilla ever showed up in the future, the Big KG’s lost head would play a part in it Kiryu-style!
Now with those out of the way, let’s get to the rest of everything ‘kay?
The “Kong” side of the cast is an 8/10. They have a few weird bits here and there but they’re great for the most of the film. The whole Hollow Earth thing is a HUGE playground that they’ve gone and opened up for future instalments, and even though the whole thing is as dumb as a pile of bricks, it’s a pretty sweet place to spend time in. It looks good, just like the rest of the film does. The references in the film are pretty on-tha-noggin and if you know your lore, you’ll find a lot of surprises all over the place.
The fights are nice and brutal and I wanna know who’s been training both our titular monsters in BJJ and Tae Kwon Do because hot damn(!) these monsters are comin’ for that UFC Heavyweight title! (Congratulations, uncle Ngannou!) Sure, sure… they use their teeth and claws and feet-hands and all, but we’ve seen that before haven’t we? (Just stick M. Yamasaki in there and he’ll allow it.)
(What? Doesn’t everyone here know I love MMA? Folks going punchy-punchy puts a BIG smile on my face!)
And just to address a pet peeve I’ve got…
I don’t really get this whole ‘oH ThE h00ManS aRe sTUpId!’ criticism of these films. If anyone’s got a problem with these films and are praising films like the usual superhero fare (which these films also are), then they’ve got to take a long, hard look at yourself. Marvel’s been the best with characters (don’t get me started on DC, but I’ve got something coming up about that soon!), but if you replaced the main characters with BIG MONSTERS who aren’t just people with CGI pudding on their faces, you’d end up with pretty much the same thing! Both our big boyes in this film are just as much characters as the lot of them. If your problem is that ‘bUt THeY cAn’T TaLk!’, well, this film’s got that down as well. Sure, it ain’t great, but it’s there. And it’s pretty sweet at times as well (look up). So there.
I mean hell… the Kong/Jia storyline has more ‘heart’ than the entirety of the DC universe has had yet (minus Joker in some ways, and that’s a whole different story), and beats a good third of Marvel too. It’s not a competition, but anyone who brings this up is usually a hypocrite, so I had to make the point.
Now I already talked about how good the CGI and the sound was, but I think I still prefer the Godzilla: King of the Monsters soundtrack over GvK‘s. There’s something about the epic scale of the last film that I prefer to GvK‘s more in-yo-face action style of music. It’s still good and nothing to wag a finger at, but I just prefer the music from KotM a little bit more. And before anyone brings it up… the CGI’s a 10/10 in both films.
Also… can we just bask in the glory of how amazing some of the ‘highlights’ of this film are? His Nuclear Scaliness the King blasting a hole through the Earth’s crust straight into looney tunes Hollow Earth-land?! Oh yeah! Now THAT’S A LOT OF NUTS AND I LOVE IT! Kong’s a total cutie while he’s Conan/Cohen-ing around Hollow Earth land, and hot damn! these fights have some amazing little tidbits in them. (No… I’m not bringing up that smile. You’re banned if you bring it up. Serious. wtf was that?!)
Now… that’s as much as I can add to my positives from the film cause everyone knows I loved it already. So… let’s take a look at…
What it gets WRONG: Okay, so Madison (Millie Bobby Brown), Josh (Julian Dennison) and Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry) are a little annoying, but you can’t really cut too much out of their story and make the film work (you could bin like a fourth of it easy though).
Ren (Oguri Shun) was completely wasted in this one. He should’ve been totally cut out of the film and it’d have worked just fine. I don’t see why they had to ham-punch a ‘Serizawa’ into the story. Ishirō (Watanabe Ken)’s character arc was done in King of the Monsters and adding Ren into this story coulda completely derailed the sacrifice. It doesn’t, luckily, and you can just ignore this handsome shmuck who’s just there ’cause I guess the films have some line in the contract where it says they need a Japanese person around. (Or they’re saving him for something important. Maybe…)
Now while Ren’s a wasted character, Maya (Eiza González) is a complete waste of space. Look, Eiza’s a very pretty girl and all, and she doesn’t do a half bad job with what she’s given, but her character had to be cut out of the back of a cereal box. She’s such a stereotype that she hurts me in the stereotype (and I belong to a few…). Everyone else is… fine, and it doesn’t really matter in the long run cause these folks are set-dressing for the main event of the film, so it doesn’t take too much away from the experience, and kinda fits in with the general mould that we’re used to from these films.
With the hUmAnS out of the way, let’s talk about a big issue with the CGI in the film. It’s a very pretty film and I know the part I’m going to pick on is one of the hardest things to get right in CGI, but the water effects at certain points of the film are a bit… bad. I don’t really know how you’d go around fixing this with CGI, but they kinda stood out to me a LOT because of how pretty the rest of the film was. I’m talking about the scene where the King comes out of the water and you get to see it… sheet-ing(?) off his snout and things. It’s a really tiny nitpick, but it stood out a LOT.
Also… MehcaGodzilla. Am I the only person on the planet who wasn’t that fond of the design? I mean… it’s okay and everything, but it looks wayyy too skinny and just feels… off. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I kinda liked Ready Player One‘s (No! No! Come back! It’s a shite film! It’s a shite film!) take on the big tin can and I think I still like it better than the version than what showed up in GvK. But that’s not all I’ve got a problem with the MG. A lot about the thing doesn’t make any Godzilladam sense. What’s all this about the satellites? What’s it with the Serizawa thing? Where did you get ANOTHER Ghidorah head from? (or did I hear that wrong?!) HOW DO YOU DOWNLOAD A POWER SOURCE?! I’ve got wayyy too many questions about this thing. They should’ve kept it simple and I’d have come home a lot happier (not that I’m not).
One other problem I have with the film is that they got a little bit carried away with the big action and ended up making our big boyes not really feel… like… titans(?) Godzilla moves fast. Like, wayyy fast. I get that Kong’s meant to be fast and everything, but the speed at which these two are moving around doesn’t really work when you look at what they end up doing. Their hits start out all meaty and thumpy, but as the film goes on, the damage they’re doing starts to look a little light. This is one of the films which falls into the ‘CGI ends up being unbelievable’ halfway through. There are some pretty big examples of total [BLEEP]-ing mayhem that just don’t hit right all the way up until the grand finale… BUT! the film ALSO has some huge thwacks thrown in here and there. There’s a bit of a mismatch going on with the weight these things (and everything they’re wrecking in their wake) going on for a big chunk of the film, but there are scenes that show us just how good the folks behind this film could have made it! Now while the film’s pretty inconsistent on this point, what surprised me is that the climax of the GvK main event didn’t involve big destruction and big wallops at the very end. The King going to the ground and doing damage from top position was terrifying and just… amazing. I don’t think a ‘big hit’ would’ve delivered the same kind of terror that the film shows off.
And just to talk about the weight and the technical points of the main event (and surprise subsequent fightevent!)…
I get that the King’s been hitting the gym after Ghidorah took him the distance the last time out, but the dude moves like a ninja who isn’t a GIGANTIC RADIOACTIVE KINGLY LIZARD and has some sweet takedowns and throws in his arsenal now. WHERE DOES HE WORK OUT? WHERE’S HE TRAINING IN THESE MARTIAL ARTS?! On the other hand, Kong’s a [BLEEP]-ing parkour ninja, who’s got some sweet TDD and evasion. I mean… WHAT?! WHO? WHERE? HOW…?!
Okay. I’ve calmed down a bit. That nearly broke my brainbox…
So… let’s get to the nitty gritty with…
KAIJŪ FC FIGHT NIGHT III RESULTS
Coming into the fight, this was the tale of the tape:
(Click on both images for full view!)
And after it was all done and dusted with… after all the squishings and the beatings and the scratchings of bums and the smiling and the eating of Swan(!)s and the puking of weaponised bad breath into each others’ mouths (that… uhhh… sounds inadvertently kinky) the results of the night are…
Damn! The King’s really racking up those blue numbers eh? But yeah. Even though the MONKE gets his hairy butt up and beaten like a pinata in the film, he comes out of the night with a shiny all of his own! EVERYONE’S A WINNER (apart from the Big KG… again… oh! oh! And those bad APEX people!)
Now I know everyone’s got a lot to say about the whole Hong Kong angle (apart from it having anything to do with the MONKE’s name), but I’m not throwing my feathers into that scrap just yet.
The film’s great, and it’s the best thing everyone could’ve had coming out of lockdown (even though I still think we’re pulling the trigger a wee bit early. [BLEEP] evolves y’know? Evolves like Uncle Shin. It’s a big dumb action flick that really doesn’t want you to think about it and just have fun with what’s going on. And it’s the best thing the MonsterVerse could’ve done. Is it better than KotM? I’m gonna say it’s on the same level (and it’s fine if you didn’t like that one. All of us kaijū fans like stupid films anyway!), and I’m pretty sure the cash this one’s raking in is a good sign that we’re going to get treated to a few more of these films in a few years’ time.
If you haven’t seen GvK yet, what the HOLLOW EARTH are you waiting for? Find it and see it (legally! The studios need to make more!)!
And that’s an order birdies! Can I get some fries with that?
The Azure-Winged Magpie: 9/10
Alright you lot! Auntie Magpie’s off for a kip! Chatter to you lot soon!
Oh and in case no one’s noticed (not like it’s really that obvious)… a few things have changed around here. Keep an eye out. We’re on a slow return to form! For NEWER! and BETTER! things!
— Azure-Winged Magpie up! Up! And Awayyy! *BONK!*