Back-to-Back Review of Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) & Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Unable to watch Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) on its first week of release, I decided not to review the film. Yes, I know I can still write one. But it was difficult for me to do so.

You see, I have a love-hate relationship with the third instalment of Legendary’s Cinematic MonsterVerse. I enjoyed some parts of the movie and I also got tired. But since I watched it in the theatre, I feel the need to watch it again to grasp its whole entity.

What is the MonsterVerse?

The MonsterVerse is an American multimedia franchise and shared fictional universe that centred on a series of monster films featuring Godzilla and King Kong, produced by Legendary Entertainment and co-produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Wikipedia

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

2h 12min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.

IMDb

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) was shown on HBO a couple of times in 2020. For some reason, I couldn’t watch the whole movie. When I subscribed to HBO Go via my cable operator for Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021), I saw the third instalment of Legendary’s Cinematic MonsterVerse available there. So I decided to watch it afterwards.

And the more I watched it, the more I understood and enjoyed the film. The clashing of Titans was very much present, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. Although, there were times when the thrill abruptly ends, which I guess is the film’s interpretation of “calm before the storm”. That storm being Monster Zero but is really King Ghidorah, the ultimate nemesis of Godzilla and mankind, that has an off-world origin.

But I digress. While I was watching, I realised that since I am at home I can hit pause. When I watched this in the theatre, I got tired several times because of the massive clashing. My eyes had a difficult time adjusting. With streaming, I get to grasp the whole picture.

Moreover, Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) seem to achieve the balance between the human characters and the monsters. Both had an ample amount of screen time, especially the Titans. It is, after all, about Godzilla and the Titans. In case you weren’t paying attention or haven’t watched the franchise, Dr Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) mentioned there are “17 and counting” identified Titans. *If this is in real life, WE ARE SCREWED!

Speaking of, I am mad and disappointed that they killed off Dr Ishirō Serizawa and Dr Vivienne Graham. Why? Does Monarch only need two main scientists? Also, in understand Dr Serizawa’s noble death, but Dr Graham? Really, that’s it?

Moving on. From a 6/10 rating in theatres, I am raising my film rating to 8/10 via streaming. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) is a massive movie perfect for watching in a relaxing space.

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

1h 53min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another – the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong – with humanity caught in the balance.

IMDb

At first, I thought Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) was a little off, but I was wrong. The film happens to be enjoyable in a comfortable space. With Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), I thought the trailer is off the charts, and I was extremely excited. In the end, I found the latest instalment exhilarating, but there are some issues and more questions.

The Review

While Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) had a somewhat balanced human screen time and Titan clashing ratio, Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) had several unnecessary scenes and characters!

Remember I mentioned my disappointment about Dr Ishirō Serizawa and Dr Vivienne Graham death? How about some respect for Dr Serizawa’s legacy? Seriously, that’s it for Ren Serizawa, son of the late Monarch scientist Ishirō Serizawa? Sure, he is on the other side working as Apex’s chief technology officer who also telepathically pilots Mechagodzilla. 

Can’t you give the character more justice? He has a very interesting and important background. Other characters who didn’t make it back, should have been included as well. And those who did but did not contribute anything should have been the ones cut off.

I understand there is a need to shift the tone and add some humour. But it can be smart humour like the ones we saw from Kong: Skull Island (2017). THIS is the perfect turning point instalment for Legendary’s Cinematic MonsterVerse. If you decide to add those characters, at least use them wisely. Give them purpose.

BUT in terms of Godzilla and Kong’s fights, the film delivers ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! The feeling I had when I first saw the trailer was present, quadrupled even! I also like the introduction of Hollow Earth that adds more opportunities possibilities for Legendary’s MonsterVerse.

The Future

That is of they will develop a fifth movie. From what I researched, Godzilla vs. Kong is the last confirmed instalment. BUT there have been reports that Godzilla vs. Kong Director Adam Wingard is in talks to return. In addition, CEO of Legendary Entertainment Josh Grode said that they have more MonsterVerse ideas for the future.

Whatever those ideas are, I hope they explore Hollow Earth. I feel this will answer the questions left from Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) like the Titans whereabouts. I’m sure they are there, too. And maybe put a balanced human character and monster participation? 🙂

In case you are wondering, not every film has a Snyder Cut so don’t get your hopes up. 

“There’s certainly enough footage to make a five-hour version of this film, I’m sure, But making a longer film is easier than making a shorter film in a lot of ways. For me, this is the version that worked the best, and I don’t see any reason to do a director’s cut. Probably the only thing if, 10 years from now, somebody said, ‘Hey, do you want to do a director’s cut of Godzilla vs. Kong?’ I would probably just use that time to have another 40 days in the sound mix because I just love that kind of thing.”

Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard

Source: https://screenrant.com/godzilla-vs-kong-footage-directors-cut-adam-wingard/

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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