I’m not going to start this off by lying to you guys. Yes, we covered the absolute hell out of Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs Kong over the past few months (years). Yes, I was enthusiastic. But my heart wasn’t in it. Josh is the Godzilla / Kong guy around here.
Truth be told I didn’t care for Godzilla (2014). Or Godzilla: King of the Monsters. And I barely made it through Kong: Skull Island. I like the characters, especially Kong. But for some reason, WB and Legendary’s current Monsterverse doesn’t do much for me.
I stayed up until 3 AM to watch the new film as soon as it hit HBO Max, like everyone else. But it took me four – count ’em out four – viewings to finish the film. I don’t know why. I really don’t. Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe seeing that much CGI really just doesn’t do much for me anymore. I blame Michael Bay and his Transformers.
But all the same, I finally sat down and finished the film last night. And against all odds, and unlike any other flick I’ve ever seen, Adam Wingard’s epic monster mash somehow managed to win me over – big time – in literally its final few moments.
One of the major complaints I had was it didn’t feel like an Adam Wingard movie. I’ve been a fan of Wingard’s for a long time now. It all started with the killer trailer for one of his very first flicks, A Horrible Way to Die. It’s seriously one of my favorite movie trailers of all time. Check it out if you’ve never had the pleasure right over HERE.
After A Horrible Way to Die there was You’re Next, which (again, no hyperbole) is one of my favorite horror movies of the past decade. I even loved Wingard’s The Guest and Blair Witch. Death Note was ‘meh’ but has a killer ending set to Air Supply’s “The Power of Love.” It’s a goddamn stunning sequence within a mediocre (at best) movie.
And this brings us back to Godzilla vs Kong. I was pretty bummed out for about 95% of the flick. Again, because, it didn’t feel like Wingard was behind the scenes. Sure I had other issues (how is there sunlight in Hollow Earth? No, really. I’m asking.)
At least, the final Mechagodzilla sequence kicked ass. That helped. Plus, it fixed one major issue I had from the word go. I didn’t WANT to see Kong and Godzilla fight. I mean, of course I wanted to see them fight. Who wouldn’t? But I didn’t want one to win out over the other. Thank God, Mechagodzilla showed up is all I’ll say about that.
But even still, I wasn’t won over. Then came the very final minute of the movie, where Kong swings around Hollow Earth to The Hollies “The Air That I Breathe.” The final moments of freedom and beautiful victory had my heart fucking SOARING. Boom. End credits. And just like that my 5/10 review jumped up to a solid 8/10. Why?
Because the movie FINALLY felt like Adam Wingard. The man knows how to drop a needle. From “Looking For the Magic” in You’re Next to, well, every song in The Guest, Wingard can resurrect a song. And who even remembers The Hollies? The last time I remember hearing the song was *checks notes* in The Little Fucking Rascals.
Not only that but those final moments brimmed with such love and understanding for the character of Kong that I fell in love with his movie. You see, it’s true, all King Kong needs is the air that he breathes to be happy. And goddammit if Godzilla, humans, and the whole fucking world tried to complicate that for the big guy.
Plus, you’ve got to love that Kong is usually, you know, dead by dawn in most of his flicks. But not this one. And not only isn’t the primate sent to Monkey Heaven, but he’s also now the literal king of his domain. Talk about a Hero’s Journey, amirite?
What did you think of Godzilla vs Kong?