Something is amiss on Skull Island, discovered to the southeast of Hawaii in the seventies nestled within a perpetual storm, home to the astonishing beast known as Kong and formerly occupied by the carnivorous reptiles called Skullcrawlers, now extinct. The island now under the supervision of Monarch, they have created a vast enclosure for Kong, intending it to simulate his natural environment, but he is fractious, disturbed, and Doctor Ilene Andrews knows it cannot hold him forever.
It has been five years since Godzilla defeated the emerging titans to become “King of the Monsters;” once theorised by Doctor Ishirō Serizawa to be a balancing force of nature, why has Titanus Gojira now emerged from the waters off Pensacola, Florida, to launch an all-out attack on the headquarters of technology conglomerate Apex Cybernetics? Bernie Hayes, an Apex employee who secretly hosts a titan conspiracy theory podcast, suspects he has been provoked, and teenage Madison Russell believes him.
The fourth film in Legendary’s Monsterverse, Godzilla vs Kong was perhaps inevitable from the outset, the ancient alpha predator having defeated Ghidorah leaving the field clear save for the other titan at the top of its own ecosystem, the now full-grown Kong, once content on his island in the Pacific and now used as a tool by Monarch to quell Godzilla, an expedient but poorly conceived solution which fails to address the question of why Godzilla’s behaviour has changed.
Directed by Blair Witch‘s Adam Wingard from a script by Thor: Ragnarok‘s Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein who launched the sequence with 2014’s Godzilla, Kyle Chandler and Millie Bobby Brown are the only returning characters, Doctor Mark Russell and his daughter Madison, joined by The East‘s Alexander Skarsgård as Doctor Nathan Lind, a proponent of the theory that the titans originate in the “Hollow Earth,” The Awakening‘s Rebecca Hall as Ilene Andrews and Alien: Covenant‘s Demián Bichir as Walter Simmons, autocratic CEO of the suitably named Apex.
The opening scenes a frenzy of action and activity, Godzilla vs Kong moves rapidly from the science fiction of anti-gravity vehicles via the extremely lax security of Apex to silly fantasy with the expedition to the Hollow Earth in search of a mystical power source, led by Kong who was conducted to the Antarctic entry point by sea in a precarious arrangement which invites trouble and endangers all who accompany him, the presumably astonishing cost in human lives never once considered when there is spectacle to behold.
The final confrontation illuminated in every shade of neon as Hong Kong is levelled, Godzilla vs Kong succeeds where similar destruction in Pacific Rim failed in that both the titans are, in their sometimes strange ways, sympathetic, even endearing, Kong through his friendship with Andrew’s adopted daughter Jia and Godzilla, a terrible force of nature driven by instinct which cannot be reasoned with but which ultimately seeks to protect the Earth and wishes only to be left alone.
Godzilla vs Kong is now on general release and also screening in IMAX