|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 rival Ghidorah in 2019, while he and Kong are currently the only active Titans on Earth. On Skull Island, the climate is destabilized, so Monarch now watches over Kong, who resides within a giant dome. Jia, a sole surviving Iwi native who is deaf and the adopted daughter of Monarch anthropological linguist Ilene Andrews, visits Kong, whom she can communicate with via sign language.
Meanwhile, Bernie Hayes, an employee of the Apex Cybernetics corporation and host of a Titan conspiracy theory podcast known as Titan Truth Podcast, exfiltrates information suggesting sinister activities at a Pensacola Apex facility, but Godzilla suddenly attacks the facility. During the rampage, Bernie discovers a cybernetic eye with a device inside, the ORCA-Z, a version of the ORCA used by the late Emma Russell to communicate with and control Titans. 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 young adult 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 Russell, 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 so that they can clear his name.
Together, they find Bernie and sneak into the wrecked Apex base, discovering a secret facility deep underground. They are inadvertently locked and transported in a container carrying Skullcrawler eggs through an underground tunnel to Hong Kong. There, they unwittingly intrude on a test of Mechagodzilla, a robotic counterpart of Godzilla controlled by Ren Serizawa, son of the late Ishiro Serizawa using the skull of Ghidorah's left head that Apex had managed to retrieve after it was previously bitten off by Godzilla and purchased by Alan Jonah. Mechagodzilla was used in a test to kill a large Skullcrawler codenamed "Number 10" but however, the test is cut short due to limitations of the power supply. It's then revealed that Apex's founder and CEO Walter Simmons intends to harness the power of an energy source in the Hollow Earth, an underground world below the Earth and the hidden home to the Titans, to overcome Mechagodzilla's limitations.
Walter recruits Nathan Lind, a former Monarch scientist turned Hollow Earth theorist, to help guide them to the Hollow Earth in search of a powerful energy source. Nathan is initially hesitant because his brother tried to explore 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 goes to Skull Island, meets with Ilene, and convinces her to use Kong as their navigator to lead them to the energy source. Nathan, Ilene, Jia, and an Apex team led by Walter's daughter Maia board a modified barge with Kong chained and lightly sedated. However, Jia senses the arrival of Godzilla, who attacks the military convoy partway through the voyage. Kong tries to fight Godzilla, but he is able to defeat Kong and was about to attack him once more when the ships disable their power and trick Godzilla into thinking he destroyed them and Kong was dead. The plan succeeds and Godzilla leaves the scene. Realizing that Godzilla could come back if they reactivate the ships, they change plans and 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 Kong that his kind could possibly be down there, prompting him to enter the tunnel, and the teams follow him in the specialized vehicles. Meanwhile, Mechagodzilla begins sending a signal to Godzilla, causing him to head straight towards Hong Kong.
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, but Kong was able to defeat them. After the fight, Kong discovers his ancestral throne room depicting an ancient war between Godzilla's race and his race while also finding a glowing axe created from the dorsal spines of another member of Godzilla's kind. As they discover the power source, Kong learns that the same power source can recharge the axe. However, Maia and the Apex team send the power source's signature back to their Hong Kong base, despite Ilene's protests. Meanwhile, Godzilla, sensing the energy, makes landfall in Hong Kong and burrows a hole into the Hollow Earth with his atomic breath. Kong avoids Godzilla's atomic breath and a flock of Hellhawks while Maia and her team try to abandon Nathan's team and flee to the surface, 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 Godzilla and Kong fight again. Kong's axe allows him to repel Godzilla's atomic breath, using it to seemingly beat Godzilla, but he recovers and resumes the fight. The fight ends with Godzilla overpowering and severely injuring Kong before roaring in his face to submit. However, Kong only responds by roaring back in defiance, showing that he refuses to submit. Godzilla, impressed by this show of defiance and bravery, spares Kong's life and leaves as Kong loses consciousness.
In the Apex base, Walter orders Ren to to send Mechagodzilla out to kill Godzilla. Ren warns Walter against using the new Hollow Earth energy source without testing, but Walter ignores his pleas. Security catches Bernie, Madison, and Josh and take them to Walter, who explains about the purpose of Mechagodzilla and how he intends to exterminate all Titans so that humans can remain the dominant species. Unknown to Walter, Mechagodzilla suddenly goes haywire under the influence of both the energy source and Ghidorah's neural networks, resulting in Ren's death by electrocution and Walter being crushed by Mechagodzilla's hand. Mechagodzilla, now possessed by Ghidorah's consciousness, emerges from the Victoria Peak's base and rampages through the city before it is confronted by Godzilla. Quickly coming into contact with Godzilla, Mechagodzilla charges at its organic counterpart.
While Josh unsuccessfully tries to shut down the rampaging robot remotely, Godzilla and Mechagodzilla battle. However, Godzilla, weary from his last fight with Kong, is no match for the mechanized Titan and is quickly overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Nathan, Ilene, and Jia approach Kong's body and are able to revive him by detonating their HEAV on his chest to act as a defibrillator, saving him. After Kong awakens, Jia convinces him that Godzilla is not the enemy, though Kong had no interest and refuses to believe her at first until Jia shows him Mechagodzilla and tells Kong that this is the "real" enemy, prompting Kong to recover and head back into battle. As Mechagodzilla prepares to fire a beam of energy down Godzilla's throat, Kong jumps on the mecha's back 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 even their combined strength is insufficient, and both Titans are defeated. However, Josh short-circuits Mechagodzilla's controls with Bernie's flask of liquor and stalls the robot long enough for Godzilla and Kong to recover and gain the upper hand. Seeing Kong holding his axe, Godzilla blasts it with his atomic breath, supercharging the axe and allowing Kong to dismember Mechagodzilla before finishing off the mecha by tearing off its head and slumping down from exhaustion.
In the aftermath, Madison reunites with Mark and introduces him to Josh and Bernie, who asks if he can invite him on his podcast sometime while Lind, Andrews, and Jia sit together among the debris. Suddenly, their moment is interrupted when Godzilla bellows, drawing Kong's attention. Kong grabs his axe again and confronts Godzilla, but he instead shows no interest in fighting anymore and merely stares Kong down. In response, Kong lowers his axe, ending the long battle between his race and Godzilla's race. Godzilla roars in acknowledgement and respect for Kong, considering him an equal and an ally before retreating into the sea to lay dormant again, safe in the knowledge that the world is finally at peace. Sometime later, Ilene, Nathan and Jia watch Kong, having embraced the Hollow Earth as his new home and kingdom, from an observation post.
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
- Japan - Unknown (Originally May 14, 2021, delayed to state of COVID-19 pandemic)
- Slovakia, Ukraine - May 20, 2021
- United Kingdom - May 21, 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.
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