Let’s be real, here: this movie is as review-proof as a movie can be. You already knew when you saw the words Godzilla Vs. Kong whether this was going to be a movie you were going to want to see, and no amount of bad reviews can talk someone who wants to see a movie called Godzilla Vs. Kong out of seeing a movie called Godzilla Vs. Kong.
The only meaningful criticisms that can be made of a giant monster punching other giant monster movie is to compare it to other giant monster punching other giant monster movies. You gotta compare it to its competition, y’know? So, for what it’s worth: I’ve seen Pacific Rim and Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island. although Godzilla: King of the Monsters or whatever it was called has thus far escaped my attention. I disliked Pacific Rim quite a bit and enjoyed Godzilla and Skull Island, although I don’t seem to have reviewed the latter. Godzilla vs. Kong is not as good as either of the two previous entries, unfortunately, although the jury’s still out on whether it’s better than Pacific Rim.
And the funny thing is that where GvK falls down is more or less exactly the same place where Pacific Rim falls down: that this movie has injected additional stupid where stupid was not necessary. Stupid is a choice, people! Every single second and every single object on-screen in a movie like this was on purpose; they did not have to do a single thing, so anytime something is blatantly stupid it’s either because they decided they wanted it that way or they didn’t notice, which is worse. Now, it’s possible that a big chunk of the stupid in GvK is King of the Monsters‘ fault, but all that does is push the dumb back a generation; it doesn’t excuse it. Whoever was responsible for the phrase gravitational inversion being in this movie should be flogged. I can ignore the fact that scientifically speaking both Godzilla and Kong are literally too big to exist on land because giant monsters are cool. They add something to the movie. You could snip the entire idiotic hollow Earth plot completely out of this movie and absolutely nothing of value would be lost except for runtime. It was only included to make the movie longer and stupider and, I suppose, to give Kong his magic axe.
King fucking Kong does not need a magic goddamned axe. You know what would be cooler than King Kong carrying a magic axe? King Kong snapping a skyscraper off at the base and whacking Godzilla in the face with it. Would it be scientifically accurate? Of course not. Would it be cool? Yes. And the axe is kind of cool but it is the only thing about the detour into the hollow Earth that eats up the entire first 2/3 of the movie that actually, like, matters. Other than that it’s all wasted time, and worse, wasted time that adds extra stupid and extra questions– like, for example, exactly how did you get the 60,000-ton gorilla onto that aircraft carrier? You sedated him, you say? With fucking what? And after he wakes up and has a deeply unfair battle with Godzilla where Godzilla is breaking other aircraft carriers like they’re made of popsicle sticks but somehow neglects to break Kong‘s aircraft carrier like it’s made of popsicle sticks, how did you manage to re-sedate him to get him into that net that you carry him — I am not joking– to Antarctica in?
The movie spends thirty minutes on gravitational inversion, a concept so stupid that I refuse to get into the details of its role in the movie because it hurts me, but does not explain how they got a 350-foot-tall unconscious gorilla into a net. Nor does it explain how they rendered said 350-foot-tall gorilla unconscious in the first place. Or the second.
And there is just not enough punching to make up for all of these decisions to add stupid into the movie. They could have written around all of this stuff. None of it had to be there. But dozens of people woke up every day while they were working on this and chose stupid over exciting, and I have to report it that way.
(You may be wondering who won. Don’t worry, this is not a spoiler review, but let me simply say that one entity definitely loses. Other aspects may be up for debate. That’s all I’m saying.)