I know what you are thinking--"Dan, there's no way you're going to like this movie. Why even write a blog post on it??" Well, it's what I do.
The latest installment of the "Monsterverse"--or the "Monarchverse", or whatever you want to call it--pits Godzilla vs. King Kong. But there's a third party that the duo winds up dealing with. Some cult movie geeks might rejoice over this guest star, but that creature's realization here is, in my opinion, just as lacking as that of the main two monsters.
The other films in this "Monsterverse"--the 2014 GODZILLA, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, and GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS, didn't impress me very much. What you got in those films--annoying human characters, lame attempts at humor, plenty of CGI battle spectacle--is what you get in GODZILLA VS. KONG.
The mysterious and ominous Monarch Corporation has trapped King Kong on Skull Island for study. But another ominous corporation called Apex believes that the big ape can lead them to "Hollow Earth", deep under the ground, where all the giant monsters supposedly come from. (The Toho Studios idea that giant monsters were let loose by radiation and the folly of man does not apply here.) Godzilla and Kong somehow sense each other, and commence to brawling. Kong gets put down pretty hard in the first round, but he's able to lead the human characters to Hollow Earth, while Godzilla heads for Hong Kong to destroy Apex's secret weapon. A bunch of CGI destruction follows.
This is a basically a summer popcorn movie, so one shouldn't take it too seriously. It would be nice, though, if some of the fun and inventiveness of the classic Japanese kaiju movies had been included here. Watching this film I was reminded of several other loud CGI fests, such as PACIFIC RIM, the JURASSIC PARK series, the TRANSFORMERS series, and...there's even a part of Hollow Earth that is reminiscent of LORD OF THE RINGS.
King Kong is definitely the star of this film, and he looks far better than the 21st Century American Godzilla, who is far too ugly and too lacking in personality for my taste. As for the plot, there's no point in trying to analyze it, or you'll find yourself asking questions such as....why does King Kong wield a Kong-sized radioactive ax? And why does a massive and powerful corporation such as Apex have such weak security that it can be breached by a teenager and her two geeky friends??
GODZILLA VS. KONG does have a couple visual reminders to the 1962 KING KONG VS. GODZILLA. Other than that....I'd much rather be watching that 1962 film.