Cinema's two biggest beasts throw down in this crazy entertaining blockbuster (emphasis on the crazy).
Warner Bros Pictures' MonsterVerse, which began with 2014's Godzilla, continued with the 70s-set Kong: Skull Island (both of which were pretty good) and then suddenly hit a nadir with 2019's inexplicably inert Godzilla: King of the Monsters, goes out on a high with this colourful and lively culmination that reintroduces a sense of fun to the proceedings.
The plot (it does have one) sees some scientists led by Alexander Skarsgard and Rebecca Hall using giant gorilla Kong to locate a far-flung power source that will supposedly provide a tech company with the means to bring down giant lizard Godzilla, who has myseriously started attacking humanity after acting as a protector in the last film.
Also, Kong and Godzilla repeatedly come to blows due to them being the final two remaining "Titans" on Earth. Their bombastic battles play out spectacularly, with a refreshing sense of clarity and vivid spatial dynamics, especially compared to the previous movie, where the monster fights were frustratingly shrouded in mist and darkness.
Some of the loopier aspects of the mythology from the original Japanese Godzilla series are incorporated, and the film has some bold original sci-fi ideas of its own. The fact that these concepts have not been spoiled in the (English language) trailers shows admirable restraint for a film of this size.
The humans are mostly perfunctory, although Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) generates laughs as a monster-obsessed podcaster. Young New Zealand actor Julian Dennison (Deadpool 2) appears in a supporting role, sporting his own accent in yet another American movie (albeit one shot in Australia). It's still jarring to hear Kiwi vowels in a blockbuster, but I'm not complaining. A welcome dose of multiplex madness.
Cast: Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison
Director: Adam Wingard
Running time: 113 minutes
Rating: M (Violence)
Verdict: A big fun monster mash with cool weird sci-fi flourishes.