Godzilla vs. Kong, lord, does that take me back. I’m fairly certain I wore out the VHS of King Kong vs. Godzilla that my parents got me either for Christmas of my birthday, watching it endlessly as a little guy. I saw that movie long before I saw either original film, and I think I could just about quote it from memory. From the awkward “United Nations reporter” sharing tons of background for us dumb Americans on who Godzilla is, to the island upon which Kong fights what is clearly, at times anyway, a real octopus. And Kong getting supercharged by lightning and kicking big G’s ass.
As a kid, of course, the rather…problematic…depiction of the Faro Islanders never really occurred to me until I saw the movie again as an adult, thanks to the very nice Criterion set of the entire Godzilla run. It was there too that I finally saw the Japanese cut of the film, long rumored (and dispelled by the internet) to be where Godzilla actually won. Spoilers, that doesn’t happen, but it is a MUCH better film objectively speaking. Ishiro Honda’s screaming satire of Japan’s media landscape comes to the fore, and certain plot points (such as why the protagonist is capable of playing the drums that lull Kong to sleep) make far more sense. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I finally saw it. And if you have that set, I highly recommend you do the same. It’s surely the second best movie in the run outside of Honda’s original.
Anyway, back to modern day, where we’re on the cusp of a NEW showdown between the big lizard and the big monkey, this time with the names reversed in Godzilla vs. Kong. I actually visited the set for this, when I went on a Hawaiian vacation with family…that was back in December of 2018, so they’ve been at this one for a long time. Originally scheduled for March of 2020, it was actually delayed to November of that year long before COVID, and then of course thanks to the pandemic it ended up in the 2021 calendar, now landing on HBOMax on March 26, right around my birthday!
The pedigree on this is pretty interesting, with Adam Wingard behind the camera. It’s his first big blockbuster after a lineup of horror and thrillers (You’re Next, the very interesting The Guest, that Death Note movie nobody liked), but his involvement with this one perked my ears up in a way that none of the previous MonsterVerse films have been able.
Godzilla vs. Kong follows on the heels of Kong: Skull Island (which I liked and Hannah reviewed) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (which I did not and Hannah also reviewed), and brings back a few characters from the latter film, notably Millie Bobbie Brown and Kyle Chandler’s father and daughter pair. Since Kong’s reboot was a period piece, set the in 70’s, I’m guessing Kong is the only element of Skull Island making its return. Before we get to the trailer, here’s the synopsis:
Legends collide in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.
So what do you think? Are you pumped to see the big throwdown? You only have a few months to wait as Godzilla vs. Kong, again, hits HBOMax on March 26th and will be available for 31 days. It’ll also be in theaters that same day, provided they’re open in your area.