|SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.|
|“||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.
The year is 2024. Five years have passed since Godzilla killed his extraterrestrial nemesis Ghidorah in 2019 while 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 named Jia, who is deaf and can communicate with Kong via sign language, providing him company. However, Kong found out about the biodome and immediately threw 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 suddenly 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. A grown-up Madison Russell, now 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 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. Nathan is initially hesitant since his brother tried to explore the Hollow Earth, but a strong anti-gravity field inside the tunnel killed him. He agrees after Walter reveals that Apex has developed Hollow Earth Aerial Vehicles, specialized crafts to withstand the gravity field's pressure. To help guide them to the Hollow Earth, Nathan travels to Skull Island and meets 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 Nathan convinced her that they need to undertake this mission in order to stop Godzilla 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, an agitated Kong starts to pull on the chains restraining him, though Jia calms him down by allowing her and Kong to touch fingers in solidarity before Kong signs the word "home", much to everybody'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 and kinship. At this point, Jia senses Godzilla, who arrives and suddenly 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 long enough 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 challenge Godzilla, who climbs aboard to face Kong. The two Titans land blows on each other before fighter jets distract Godzilla enough for Kong to push him back into the ocean. Godzilla fires his atomic breath from beneath, 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 and passes out. Seeing no other option, Nathan decides that the group should instead shut down the ships' power to trick Godzilla into thinking he destroyed them and Kong was defeated which succeeds. Godzilla observes the destroyed fleet and, as if seemingly satisfied that he has won, swims away. Realizing that Godzilla could return if they reactivate the ships, they change plans and instead fly Kong to a Hollow Earth entry point in Antarctica where Ghidorah was originally frozen. There, Kong refuses to go even with Jia's insistence. Instead, Nathan and Ilene suggest telling Jia that they trick Kong into thinking that his kind could possibly be down there, prompting him to enter the tunnel, and the teams follow him in the 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 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, they unwittingly intrude on a test of "Mechagodzilla", a robotic counterpart of Godzilla piloted by the late Dr. Ishiro Serizawa's son Ren Serizawa, who sits inside the skull of Ghidorah's left head, which has been retrieved by Apex and converted into a living supercomputer and neural interface used to control the robot after it was previously bitten off by Godzilla and acquired by Alan Jonah five years ago. Mechagodzilla was used in a test to kill a large Skullcrawler codenamed "Number 10" by slicing it in half using its proton scream while Madison, Josh and Bernie seek shelter in a bunker, but the test is however cut short 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 Pensacola in the first place: Apex is trying to dispose of him and all the Titans so that humanity can become the dominant species.
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 snake-like Warbats, but Kong manages to kill both of them before feasting on one by eating its innards. After the fight, Kong and Nathan's team make their way to an ancestral throne room belonging to Kong's species, where they find remains of an ancient war with Godzilla's kind while Kong notices a glowing axe made from a dismembered dorsal plate of another member of Godzilla's race. As Nathan's team discover the power source they need to increase Mechagodzilla's power supply, Kong learns that the same power source can recharge the axe. However, Maia and the Apex team use drones to send the power source's signature back to their Hong Kong base, despite Ilene's protests, prompting Maia and her guards to aim their guns at Nathan's team, only for Kong to angrily roar at them in defense of Jia. Meanwhile, Mechagodzilla begins sending a signal to Godzilla, who senses the machine's activation and heads straight towards Hong Kong. There, Godzilla makes landfall and sensing Kong in the Hollow Earth, drills a shaft to the throne room with his atomic breath, causing the temple to collapse. Kong avoids Godzilla's atomic breath and fights off a flock of Hellhawks while Maia and her team try to abandon Nathan's team and escape, only for Kong to crush their HEAV on their way out, killing Maia and her personnel inside.
Kong, Ilene, Jia, and Nathan escape through the hole to Hong Kong, where Kong confronts Godzilla and fights him again, at one point gaining the upper hand this time by shoving the handle of 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 it and injures the Titan in the leg with his weapon, though Godzilla is unscathed and throws the axe away. After evading and dodging Godzilla's attacks, Kong retrieves his axe before bringing down his now charged-up weapon down on Godzilla, creating an explosion that knocks both Titans back, but Kong loses his axe in the process, leaving him vulnerable without his weapon. Godzilla recovers and resumes battling Kong which ends with him gaining the upper hand by overpowering the ape Titan such as dislocating his left arm and stomping on his chest twice before roaring in Kong's face to submit. However, Kong responds by roaring back at Godzilla in defiance, 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 Kong loses consciousness.
Back in the Apex base, Walter orders Ren to send out Mechagodzilla to kill Godzilla, though Ren warns him against using the new Hollow Earth energy source without testing, but Walter ignores his pleas and orders Ren 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 accuses Walter of provoking Godzilla into war and for causing all of this, 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 he monologues about his creation, Mechagodzilla suddenly goes haywire under the influence of both the energy source and Ghidorah's neural networks, resulting in Mechagodzilla killing Walter with a swipe of its hand and Ren's death by electrocution. Mechagodzilla, now possessed by Ghidorah's consciousness, emerges from the Victoria Peak's base and rampages through the city before Godzilla confronts it. Quickly coming into contact with Godzilla, Mechagodzilla assails its organic counterpart with missiles before the two begin their battle.
While Josh unsuccessfully tries to shut down the rampaging robot remotely, Godzilla and Mechagodzilla battle, at one point engaging in a beam lock by firing both their energy beams at each other which lock together, only for Mechagodzilla to gain the upper hand, knocking Godzilla over and badly burning him. While Mechagodzilla continues to overwhelm Godzilla, Nathan, Ilene, and Jia approach an unconscious Kong, where Jia senses that his heartbeat is slowing down, prompting Nathan to use the remaining HEAV as a defibrillator to revive Kong, detonating it and saving him. After Kong awakens, Jia convinces him that Godzilla is not the enemy, though Kong has no interest and refuses to believe her at first until she shows him Mechagodzilla and tells Kong that this is the "real" enemy, prompting the Titan to reset his dislocated arm and head into battle. As Mechagodzilla prepares to fire its proton scream 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 having found a new ally, Godzilla helps Kong fight against Mechagodzilla, but the robot proves to be stronger than their combined might and overpowers the two Titans. Seeing his axe among the wreckage, Kong reclaims it, but his weapon 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 allowing Godzilla and Kong to recover and gain the upper hand. Seeing Kong holding his axe, Godzilla supercharges it by blasting the weapon with his atomic breath, allowing Kong to slice off Mechagodzilla's limbs and finishes off the mecha by tearing off its head. After roaring triumphantly, an exhausted and battered Kong 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 by the roar of Godzilla, who approaches Kong. Kong grabs his axe and prepares to resume fighting his rival again, but Godzilla instead shows no interest in fighting anymore and merely stares Kong down. In response, Kong lets his axe fall to the ground, ending the many millenniums of conflict between his and Godzilla's race. Godzilla and Kong acknowledged each other as equals and allies but no longer rivals before Godzilla returns to the sea and disappears beneath the waves as Kong and the gathered humans watch on.
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 beats his chest and bellows, proclaiming 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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