Ever since 'The Avengers' was announced, several studios attempted their own universes, most of the time jumping the gun completely and falling on their asses. Warner Bros' DC Universe rushed itself with 'Batman v Superman' as only its second film, and the "Dark Universe" assumed it was good to go with just one movie; 'The Mummy' no one asked for; now known as one of Universal Studios' biggest blunders. I mean, at least DC still has its loyal fanbase. Things seemed the new equivalent of book series adaptations - everyone once wanted to be the new 'Harry Potter'.
When you get right down to it, adapting a universe into film is very much a roll of the dice. It all teeters on that first film and whether or not its successful enough to allow you to keep going. Sometimes those dice give you snake eyes, but sometimes you can roll that lucky seven and succeed. In the case of the new movie "Universes", for my money, one that does a good job is what has become known as the MonsterVerse (not to be confused with the Dark Universe). It's nothing I would ever call perfect, but between 'Godzilla', 'Kong: Skull Island' and 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' I have always found myself entertained. I would swiftly become a Kong fan with it being my favourite of the three. But the 'Godzilla' films certainly weren't without a certain charm. I could always have fun with them.
'Godzilla vs Kong' takes place five years after the events of 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'. We see Kong exploring what appears to be his natural habitat, but it's quickly revealed that he's been captured, and is being monitored by Monarch in a special facility. Within this facility, Kong has befriended a deaf girl named Jia (Kaylee Hottle) who speaks to him using sign language. She would be the girl from the now famous "pointing" scene in the accompanying image. With her, is her adopted mother and Kong expert, Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) who fears that if Kong is ever released or escapes, Godzilla will come after him, defending his title as King of the Monsters.
Speaking of Godzilla, now seen by the people as a friend (despite a lot of destruction), he comes to shore at Pensacola, FL to cause more destruction as he attacks an Apex Cybernetics facility. While people wonder what's gotten into Godzilla, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) goes to her friend Josh (Julian Dennison) for help in investigating why Godzilla attacked, knowing it wasn't an act of random violence. The two get further help from podcasting conspiracy theorist, Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry), who's pretty much here to play his version of Doug E. Doug from 'Eight-Legged Freaks'. It will eventually all lead to a big reveal that seems somewhat obvious from the get-go, but it's still REALLY cool when it does happen.
Back to Kong, a guy named Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) comes onto the scene as an expert on Hollow Earth (the hidden homeworld of all Titans). He is called into action by Apex CEO, Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir), who believes Hollow Earth contains a particular power source. This power source will allow them to give life to a weapon that can defend the public from Godzilla if he attacks unprovoked again. Once onto the scene, Lind soon recruits Ilene, Kong and Jia to find and explore Hollow Earth, but unknown to the recruits are Lind's plans to find this power source. Along the way, of course, Kong and Godzilla to become aware of each other, and the film of course delivers on its promise of a Clash of Titans.
The one thing this movie does that the others don't do quite as well is leave the movie to the monsters, and things associated with them. "Too much human" happens to be a thing in a lot of these types of movies, pushing the star attraction to the background. Hell, in the first 'Godzilla', he's barely even in it until the end. They always get a little better, but because this was 'Godzilla vs Kong', the filmmakers thankfully don't hold back a damn thing. One thing I admire about the film is that they do go all out because they fully understand what this is, and what fans are there to see. You know what you're watching is dumb, fun action that goes back to the 60s. Even the Hollow Earth concept is lifted right out of 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'; a book published in the late 1800s.
If you really want to get into various criticisms of the film, I found it often moved too fast, and became a touch incomprehensible at times. On top of that, the destruction and death these two cause is off the charts while we humans also stupidly kill ourselves by flying too damn close and often crashing our fighter jets. For some reason, however, given the way the film is presented and understanding that it's cheesy in and of itself, the titans just kind of get a pass for such things. It's almost like having a sex crazed couple with little to no personality in a horror movie; you know what's gonna happen, but the film feels incomplete without it. If you can just have fun with this, it delivers on what it says it is while giving more. Don't take this too seriously - it's not meant to be.