|“||One will fall.||„|
Godzilla vs. Kong, also known by the working title of "Apex" is a 2021 American science fiction monster film produced by Legendary Pictures, and the fourth entry in the MonsterVerse, following 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, acting as a sequel to both King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island.
Godzilla vs. Kong had a turbulent development, and was originally set for release on May 29, 2020, before being pushed up to March 13, 2020, only to then be delayed to November 20, 2020, and then May 21, 2021. It then got pushed up to March 26, 2021, before ultimately being released to American theaters on March 31, 2021. The film was also streaming concurrently on HBO Max through to April 30, 2021.
The film is directed by Adam Wingard, produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Eric McLeod, and Brian Rogers with the screenplay written by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein, from a story by Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields. Borenstein, Dougherty and Shields also wrote King of the Monsters. Godzilla vs. Kong begins five years after King of the Monsters, and sees Godzilla and Kong undergoing a titanic battle in the wake of Ghidorah's rampage.
Legends collide in "Godzilla vs. Kong" as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the world. The epic clash between the two titans, instigated by unseen forces, is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.
In 2024, five years after Godzilla fought and killed his extraterrestrial nemesis Ghidorah for dominance in 2019, he and Kong are currently the only active Titans on Earth. On Skull Island, its climate has become unstable due to a storm generated by Ghidorah combining with the storm cell perpetually surrounding the island, forcing Monarch to contain Kong inside a dome-shaped facility that simulated the island's environment, with an orphaned young Iwi girl named Jia, who is deaf and can communicate with Kong via sign language, providing him company. However, when Jia comes to visit Kong and holds out a doll to him, the Titan, realizing that he is trapped inside the biodome, finds out and immediately throws a tree at it.
Meanwhile, Bernie Hayes, an employee of the Apex Cybernetics corporation and host of a Titan conspiracy theory podcast known as the Titan Truth Podcast, exfiltrates information suggesting sinister activities at a Pensacola Apex facility, but Godzilla arrives and attacks. During Godzilla's rampage, Bernie discovers a strange piece of technology resembling a giant robotic eye among the ruins of the facility. In the aftermath of the attack, public opinion has turned against Godzilla, who is no longer viewed as humanity's savior. Madison Russell, now a grown-up and a fan of Bernie's podcast, sees the news about Godzilla's recent attack and is worried. She tries to convince her widowed father Mark, acting as Monarch's director, that Godzilla is being provoked, but Mark dismisses his daughter's belief in the Titan Truth Podcast and only replies that creatures, just like people, can change. Later, Madison enlists the help of her best friend Josh Valentine to investigate the one behind Godzilla's rampage and figure out the secrets of Apex.
Meanwhile, Apex's founder and CEO Walter Simmons recruits Nathan Lind, a former Monarch scientist turned Hollow Earth theorist, to help guide them to the Hollow Earth, an underground world below the Earth and the hidden home to the Titans, in search of a powerful energy source. At first, Nathan is initially hesitant since his brother tried to explore the Hollow Earth, but a strong anti-gravity field inside the tunnel ended up killing him. He finally agrees after Walter reveals that Apex has created and developed Hollow Earth Aerial Vehicles, specialized crafts that are capable of withstanding the gravity field's pressure. To help guide them to the Hollow Earth, Nathan travels to Skull Island and meets his colleague, Monarch anthropological linguist and Jia's adoptive mother Ilene Andrews, with his idea of using Kong as their navigator to lead them to the energy source since Skull Island is no longer able to contain him (because Kong has grown too large) and allow him to survive. Though Ilene rejects this at first as she explains that Godzilla would come for Kong as soon as he was moved off of Skull Island, she finally accepts after being convinced by Nathan that they need to undertake this mission in order to stop Godzilla's rampage and that they can also find Kong a new home.
Nathan, Ilene, Jia, and an Apex team led by Walter's daughter Maia board a modified barge with Kong chained and lightly sedated. One rainy night, Kong becomes restless and starts to pull on the chains restraining him, though Jia calms him down by allowing her and Kong to touch fingers in solidarity whilst Kong signs the word "home", much to Ilene's amazement. The next day, Ilene explains to Nathan on how she raised Jia as her adoptive daughter after dangerous and unpredictable storms wiped out most of the Iwi and her parents, but Jia herself was the sole survivor since Kong was the one who protected her, leading to the two forming a bond. At this point, Jia senses Godzilla's presence by feeling vibrations through the ship as the Titan arrives and attacks the military before capsizing the barge, nearly drowning Kong as well as the others inside. Fortunately, Nathan manages to unlock Kong's chains, allowing him to battle Godzilla underwater long enough for him to swim to the surface and flip the barge back on its head, saving the group from drowning. Kong leaps onto a nearby aircraft carrier to face Godzilla, who climbs aboard to face Kong. The two Titans exchange violent blows before fighter jets distract Godzilla enough for Kong to push him back into the ocean. Godzilla fires his atomic breath from under the carrier, but Kong manages to leap off to evade the blast. However, Godzilla wraps his tail around Kong and drags him into the depths of the ocean, only for their fight to break up when Godzilla is disoriented by depth charges, giving Kong the opportunity to surface for air.
Seeing no other option, Nathan decides that the group should instead shut down all the ships' power to trick Godzilla into thinking he destroyed them and Kong was defeated which eventually succeeds. Godzilla observes the destroyed fleet with curiosity and, as if seemingly satisfied that he has won, swims away. Realizing that Godzilla could return if they reactivate the ships, the group change plans and instead fly Kong to a Hollow Earth entry point in Antarctica, the place where Ghidorah was originally frozen. There, Jia explains to Kong that his home is through the entrance, but he is too reluctant to go. Instead, Nathan asks Ilene if Kong will go if he thinks there are others like him through there and she tells Jia to ask Kong that his family could possibly be down there, prompting the Titan to enter the tunnel and the teams follow him in their HEAVs.
Meanwhile, Madison and Josh find Bernie, who joins their investigation as they believe Apex had something to do with Godzilla's change in behavior. Together, they sneak into the wrecked Apex base, only to find that the "eye" Bernie had described earlier is now gone. As they discover a secret facility deep underground, the group are inadvertently locked and transported in an antigravity transport vehicle carrying Skullcrawler eggs through an underground tunnel to Hong Kong. There, the three disembark and find themselves inside a huge dark chamber, but stumble upon Apex's ultimate weapon "Mechagodzilla", a mechanized counterpart of Godzilla being controlled by the late Dr. Ishiro Serizawa's son and Walter's chief technology officer Ren Serizawa. To test Mechagodzilla's might against the Titans as soon as the mecha is activated, Walter unleashes a large adult Skullcrawler codenamed "Number 10" into the chamber. The beast is on the verge of attacking Madison, Josh and Bernie when it is grabbed and restrained by Mechagodzilla, who cleaves the Skullcrawler in half using a powerful red energy beam, allowing Madison, Josh and Bernie to seek shelter in a small hatch. However, the test is cut short when the mecha powers down immediately afterwards due to limitations of the power supply. It is then revealed that Walter intends to harness the power of the Hollow Earth's energy to overcome Mechagodzilla's limitations. Madison then realizes that Mechagodzilla is the reason why Godzilla attacked in the first place: Apex is trying to replace him and all the Titans so that humans can become the Earth's apex species. While trying to find an exit, Madison and the others suddenly come upon a room where Ren is sitting inside the severed head of Ghidorah, which is now a skull and turned into a biological supercomputer and cockpit for Ren to control Mechagodzilla through radio waves after Apex acquired it from Alan Jonah five years ago since it was previously bitten off by Godzilla during his battle against Ghidorah in Isla de Mara, Mexico.
Inside the Hollow Earth, Nathan's team find an ecosystem similar to Skull Island. While traversing the landscape, they are attacked by a pair of Warbats, with one destroying one of the HEAVs. Kong was able to kill the first Warbat and swing its corpse into the second one which staggers it, but the creature recovers and constricts itself around him. Before the Warbat can strangle the life out of Kong, it is bombarded by missiles from Nathan's team in their HEAV, giving Kong the opportunity to break free and violently beat the monster to death before feasting on the dead Warbat by eating its innards. Afterwards, Kong and Nathan's team resume their journey, eventually reaching their destination at a huge stone temple belonging to Kong's ancestors. Inside, they find remains of an ancient war with Godzilla's kind while Kong finds a glowing axe made from a dorsal plate of a deceased member of Godzilla's race before sitting upon a giant throne. As Nathan's team discover the power source they need to increase Mechagodzilla's power supply, Kong learns that the same power source can also recharge the axe. However, Maia and the Apex team use spider-like drones to harvest the power source and send it back to their Hong Kong base, despite Ilene protesting that Apex cannot simply take the find of the millennium. Maia has her guards aim their guns at Nathan's team, only for Kong to angrily bellow at them in their defense. Meanwhile, Mechagodzilla begins sending a signal to Godzilla, who senses the machine's activation and heads straight towards Hong Kong. There, Godzilla makes his way into the heart of the city and sensing Kong, drills a shaft to the Hollow Earth with his atomic breath, causing the temple to collapse. Kong and Nathan's team fight off a flock of Hellhawks while Maia and her team try to flee in their HEAV, only for Kong to catch it on their way out and instantly crush their craft in his hand, killing Maia and her personnel inside, despite her attempting to shoot him in order to escape.
Kong, Ilene, Jia, and Nathan escape through the hole created by Godzilla's atomic breath to Hong Kong, where Kong faces Godzilla and fights him again, this time gaining the upper hand against the Titan to the point he shoves his axe down Godzilla's throat to stop him firing his atomic breath. Kong sees that his axe can not only block Godzilla's atomic breath, but can also absorb the blast and injures the Titan in the thigh with his weapon, though Godzilla is unscathed due to his body's resistance. After evading and dodging Godzilla's attacks, Kong brings his now charged-up axe down on Godzilla, creating an explosion that knocks both Titans back, making Nathan believe that Kong has won the second round. Kong and Godzilla both recover and get back to their feet, with Godzilla searching for Kong, who hides from the Titan by perching himself on a skyscraper. Kong throws a construction crane into a building, distracting Godzilla to the point he ambushes him from behind, only for the Titan to regain the upper hand against Kong, eventually dislocating his left arm, slashing Kong with his claws and even stomping on his chest twice before angrily roaring in Kong's face to submit. However, Kong responds with a roar of his own, showing that he refuses to submit. As if impressed by this show of defiance and bravery, Godzilla spares his opponent's life and walks away as a badly injured Kong loses consciousness due to commotio cordis.
Back in the Apex base, Walter excitedly orders Ren to send out Mechagodzilla to kill Godzilla. Though Ren warns him against using the new Hollow Earth energy source without testing, Walter ignores his pleas and coldly orders him to activate the mecha. At the same time, Bernie, Madison, and Josh are caught by security for infiltrating Apex headquarters and are taken to Walter. Madison furiously accuses Walter of provoking Godzilla into war and for causing all of this in the first place, though he confidently explains that he accepted the responsibility for giving mankind a chance to fight back against Godzilla and the Titans. Unknown to Walter as his back is turned while he monologues about his creation, Mechagodzilla suddenly goes haywire under the influence of both the energy source and Ghidorah's neural networks, resulting in the robot killing Walter with a swipe of its hand and Ren's death by electrocution. Mechagodzilla, now possessed by Ghidorah's consciousness, breaks free from the Apex facility underneath Victoria Peak Mountain and rampages through the city before Godzilla confronts it. Quickly coming into contact with Godzilla, Mechagodzilla fires a barrage of missiles at its organic counterpart before the two engage in battle.
While Josh and Bernie unsuccessfully try to shut down the rampaging robot remotely and Madison tries to call up Mark for help, Godzilla, despite having already grown weary from his earlier battle against Kong, and Mechagodzilla battle, at one point both engage in a beam lock by firing their energy beams at each other which lock together, only for Mechagodzilla to gain the upper hand, knocking Godzilla over and burning him. While Mechagodzilla continues to overwhelm and badly beat Godzilla, Nathan, Ilene, and Jia approach an unconscious Kong, where Jia senses that his heartbeat is slowing down. Ilene explains that they can't produce a charge big enough to restart Kong's heart, but Nathan, having remembered what Maia said earlier about the HEAVs producing a charge big enough to power Las Vegas for a week, flies the remaining HEAV onto Kong's chest and sets it to self-destruct, detonating the craft and instantly reviving Kong. After Kong awakens, Jia tries to convince him that Godzilla isn't really his enemy. Though Kong doesn't believe her at first, Jia shows him Mechagodzilla and explains to Kong that this is the "real" enemy, not Godzilla. After a moment, Kong finally accepts and heads into battle to help Godzilla, but not before resetting his dislocated arm. As Mechagodzilla prepares to fire its red energy beam down Godzilla's throat, Kong leaps onto the robot and redirects the beam into the air, saving Godzilla's life in the process. Realizing that Kong saved his life and sensing an ally in him upon seeing that he is not an enemy, Godzilla helps Kong fight against Mechagodzilla. Working together, the two Titans turn the tide, but the robot proves to be stronger than their combined might and overpowers them. Seeing his axe among the wreckage after losing it during his earlier battle against Godzilla, Kong reclaims it, but his weapon, having lost its charge, is ineffective against Mechagodzilla, who attempts to fatally impale Kong with its tail drill. However, Josh short-circuits Mechagodzilla's controls by pouring Bernie's flask of liquor all over the control panel, making Mechagodzilla momentarily stall and giving Godzilla and Kong the opportunity to recover and regain the upper hand. Seeing Kong holding his axe, Godzilla supercharges it by blasting the weapon with his atomic breath, allowing Kong to dismember Mechagodzilla limb from limb before finally ripping its head off. After holding up Mechagodzilla's severed head and roaring triumphantly, Kong, now exhausted, slumps down to rest.
In the aftermath, Nathan, Ilene and Jia sit together among the debris while Madison reunites with Mark and introduces him to Josh and Bernie, who asks Mark if he can invite him on his podcast sometime. Suddenly, their moment is interrupted when Godzilla approaches Kong, prompting the Titan to grab his axe and prepares to resume fighting his old rival again. However, Godzilla instead shows no interest in fighting anymore and merely stares Kong down. In response, Kong drops his axe, ending the many millenniums of conflict between his and Godzilla's race. Now that they are no longer rivals, Godzilla and Kong acknowledge each other as equals and allies before Godzilla returns to the sea peacefully as Kong and all the gathered humans watch.
Sometime later, Monarch have created an observation post in the Hollow Earth. Ilene, Nathan and Jia watch as Kong passes by on his morning walk. After signing "home" to Jia, Kong swings onto a cliff, pounds his chest and bellows, establishing himself as the king of the Hollow Earth and accepting it as his new home and kingdom.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Adam Wingard
- Written by Eric Pearson (screenplay), Max Borenstein (screenplay), Terry Rossio (story), Michael Dougherty (story), and Zach Shields (story)
- Produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Eric McLeod, and Brian Rogers
- Executive producing by Kenji Okuhira, Yoshimitsu Banno (posthumously), Jon Jashni, and Thomas Tull
- Edited by Josh Schaeffer
- Production design by Owen Patterson and Tom Hammock
- Director of Photography Ben Seresin
- Special Effects Supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin
- Costume Designer Ann Foley
- Art Department
- Motion Capture Consultants
Reception for Godzilla vs. Kong has been generally positive. As of April 16, 2021, the film has 341 reviews on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with 254 of them fresh, and a "Tomatometer" with a 74% certified Fresh score. The site's critics' consensus feature states that "Delivering squarely on its title, Godzilla vs. Kong swats away character development and human drama to deliver all the spectacle you'd expect from giant monsters slugging it out." The site's summary of audience reviews expressed a similar opinion, stating that "This long-awaited blockbuster matchup makes it easy not to think about the so-so story and characters by serving up plenty of action and incredible effects." Indeed, reviewers generally praised the film's monster brawling element, but some expressed disappointment at the "half-baked" human element of the film. The film was credited with ending a box office slump fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, having earned an estimated $48.5 million dollars in the U.S. box office by the Sunday morning of five-day weekend release period. WarnerMedia did not release numbers for the film's reception on HBO Max, but stated that it was a film that viewers were watching more than once and that the film had a larger viewer audience than any series or film released on the service since it launched. The film also saw massive international ticket sales, with an additional haul of approximately $236 million in non-U.S. markets. On April 17, 2021, it was reported that despite still somewhat depressed box office due to the pandemic, Godzilla vs. Kong had surpassed the total box office of the film Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
- Apex (Working title)
- Godzilla vs. King Kong (哥吉拉大戰金剛 Gējílā dàzhàn Jīngāng; Chinese title)
- (哥斯拉大戰金剛 Gēsīlā dàzhàn Jīngāng; Hong Kong title)
- (哥吉拉大戰金剛 Gējílā dàzhàn Jīngāng; Taiwanese title)
- France, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan - March 24, 2021
- Argentina, Australia, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea - March 25, 2021
- Bulgaria, China, Spain, Vietnam - March 26, 2021
- Canada, United States - March 31, 2021
- Lithuania - April 1, 2021
- Sweden - April 28, 2021
- Brazil - April 29, 2021
- Italy - May 6, 2021
- Slovakia, Ukraine - May 20, 2021
- United Kingdom - May 21, 2021
- Japan - July 2, 2021
- 3D (post-converted)
- IMAX 3D
- Dolby Vision and Atmos
Godzilla vs. Kong has been announced for a home video release on digital purchase platforms on May 21, 2021, with the film arriving on DVD Special Edition, Blu-ray combo pack and 4K UHD combo pack on June 15, 2021. The following special features have been confirmed to be included, though some digital versions may contain only select special features:
- Kong Discovers Hollow Earth
- Kong Leaves Home
- Behold Kong’s Temple
- The Evolution of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World
- Godzilla Attacks
- The Phenomenon of GŌJIRA, King of the Monsters
- Round One: Battle at Sea
- Round Two: One Will Fall
- Titan Tag Team: The God and the King
- The Rise of MechaGodzilla
- Commentary by Director Adam Wingard (only on 4K and Blu-ray)
- This film marks the first time in 59 years that Godzilla and King Kong appeared in a film together since 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla.
- This film is Terry Rossio's first Godzilla film after his unproduced screenplay for the unmade 1994 film.
- This is second movie featuring King Kong that Kyle Chandler has starred in, the first being Peter Jackson's 2005 remake.
- With Chandler's involvement in King Kong, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and Godzilla vs. Kong, this results in the actor's notable distinction in being the only person to be present in the cast of a King Kong film, a Godzilla film, and a crossover film between the two.
- With a runtime of 113 minutes, Godzilla vs. Kong is the shortest entry in the MonsterVerse.
- The scene where Kong smashes his right shoulder (having been dislocated earlier) against a building to relocate it could be a reference to Martin Riggs’s infamous ability of a similar nature in the Lethal Weapon franchise.
- The film has several references to Neon Genesis Evangelion:
- The scene where Kong jumps from ship-to-ship is similar to a scene where Eva Unit-02 jumps from ship-to-ship trying to avoid an angel, much like Godzilla.
- The place where Mechagodzilla is stationed bears resemblance to the Central Dogma with it being located underground and with a pyramid atop of it.
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