Ali vs. Frasier. Tyson vs. Holyfield. Skywalker vs. Vader. All classic bouts the world watched in awe until the finality caused a collective sigh of appreciation for both warriors. As March winds to a close, two heavyweight bruisers — each with a history of destroying cities, causing worldwide mayhem, and kidnapping beautiful young starlets — are going toe-to-toe in a no holds barred grudge match. Godzilla vs. Kong opens March 31st to streaming and (fingers crossed!!!) theaters. [HBO Max has the rights to stream the movie right into your living room on its release date at the end of March, so be sure to check out my thoughts on this streaming vs. cinematic theater release debate here: The Death of Dune?]
Godzilla vs. Kong! The trailer looks pretty epic. Smash, destroy, handful of popcorn (munch munch), more destroy and more smash. These are the quintessential big blockbuster creature movie heroes, and they are facing off in what could be the most visually exciting action flick in recent memory.
What better way to alleviate these pre-fight anticipation jitters than with a fight card match-up and see if we can’t glean an idea of how this fight will go based on the eleventy-million previous films starring one of these two brutes? We’ll break it down based on history, notable fights, advantages and disadvantages. I’ll leave the victory prediction (prediction…pain!) up to you, and feel free to comment below and let me know which champion will remain standing after the final bell!
Kong was thought up by a gentleman named Marion C. Cooper in the early 30’s. Cooper was a war hero turned explorer. After the war, he started dabbling in making documentaries about his explorations. One thing led to another, and he had this great idea to create a film about a 12-foot gorilla fighting a Komodo dragon. Someone near him scoffed, “Komodo dragon? Pshaw, how about a dinosaur?!” And things went from there…
Kong hit theaters for the first time in 1933. A larger-than-life gorilla who falls in love, understandably, with a gorgeous blonde American starlet and is captured, brought back to the US, and then runs rampant. This story has been remade more than a few times, each with a little twist in the plot, but the idea is generally the same. Kong: Skull Island (2017) was pretty awesome, for what it’s worth.
Kong’s previous fights include the US Military, Dinosaurs, Jeff Bridges and Adrian Brody.
Advantages: Ability to use primate brain to manipulate tools and weapons, plan ahead, and look for opponent weakness; opposable thumbs.
Disadvantages: Smaller stature for a giant beast; no superpowers except brute strength.
Godzilla was the brainchild of film producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, who was flying in an airplane and gazing down at the water. He wondered what would happen if a monstrous being rose up from the depths, and 70 years later, over 30 Godzilla films reside in the filmography.
Godzilla is based on the premise that nuclear energy created by mankind has woken the giant beast from its slumber deep under the ocean. Godzilla feeds on nuclear energy: it’s his life-force, and can regenerate and restore him if he is injured. I’ll restate that: a nuclear bomb would only heal Godzilla.
Godzilla’s previous fights include Mothra (a giant moth), the three-headed monster King Ghidora, the US and Japanese Military, Bryan Cranston and Mathew Broderick.
Advantages: Can literally never die totally and forever; laser beams from almost every orifice; absorbs nuclear energy; super strength; can use the depths of the ocean for a hideout.
Disadvantages: Based on nuclear energy, which is, you know, historically unstable; electricity has hurt him in the past; predictable tactics — lazer beams, smash and punch.
The Tale of the Tape
Kong has to find a way to close on Godzilla and get up close and personal with lots of body shots. As boxing legend Teddy Atlas says, “There’s a lot of windows to break on the taller fighter,” with punches to the midsection. If Kong can avoid being blasted into a pile of scorched ape fur by Godzilla’s breath, lasered to death by Godzilla’s Superman-esque eyeball beams, thrown into space by Godzilla’s elite grappling techniques…maybe he can pull this one out. Kong is the underdog in this fight, but with a good fight plan, some evasion, and a lucky haymaker Godzilla never sees coming, Kong has a shot, albeit a long shot, to take down The King of Monsters.
The movie was directed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next) from a screenplay by Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla: King of the Monsters), based on a story by Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields (Godzilla: King of the Monsters). Alexander Skarsgård, Kaylee Hottle, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Shun Oguri, with Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir.
Godzilla vs. Kong opens in theaters in 2D, 3D and IMAX on March 26, 2021. It will be available to stream on on HBO Max for 31 days later.Check back with MovieNooz on the daily to never miss a Hollywood story! You can follow me on twitter at @AaronKatzmarek!
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures