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Warning: SPOILERS for Godzilla vs. Kong are ahead!
After three movies of seeing why Godzilla and King Kong reigned supreme among the Titans, Godzilla vs. Kong finally showed these two behemoths colliding in a showdown for the ages. Their first fight unfolded in the middle of the ocean, and the second, more extended brawl happened in Hong Kong. While Godzilla won two of the unofficial “three” rounds in the latest MonsterVerse movie, Godzilla vs. Kong co-writer Max Borenstein has an interesting perspective on how we should look at these battles as a whole.
During my recent conversation with Max Borenstein, I asked for clarification about if Godzilla was indeed Godzilla vs. Kong’s ultimate victor. The man who’s been part of the MonsterVerse braintrust since its earliest days answered with the following:
I’m not sure I see it that way. I suppose you could see that way in the sense that Godzilla… to say he is unkillable is maybe unfair to the potential that adversaries would have, but he’s a force of nature and less knowable, less anthropomorphic than Kong. Kong is much easier to identify with because Kong’s a primate. And so Kong is more like us and therefore more vulnerable in a sense. So I think perhaps you can say that, but I think Kong because of that has us on his side and is able to sort of rally, who knows how it would have worked out in the end? He has tools obviously, so as a primate, there’s a kind of tool-making ability and specific intelligence. So they may not be evenly matched in brawn, but there’s a widely antihero ‘unwillingness to go down’ part of Kong that I’m satisfied with them both remaining kings of their domain again and neither one bows to the other, but it’s probably a good thing they don’t have to finally have it out completely.
Let’s recap how Godzilla and King Kong’s rumbles went down. They first crossed paths in the middle of the ocean as Kong was being transported to the Hollow Earth outpost in Antarctica, and while Kong put up a good fight, the only reason Godzilla didn’t kill him was because the surviving humans aboard the ships tricked the reptile into thinking the fleet was destroyed. Then Godzilla and King Kong threw down in Hong Kong, and with the latter now armed with that trusty axe he found in Hollow Earth, he managed to win the second round, as noted by Alexander Skarsgard’s Nathan Lind. But Godzilla quickly recovered, and the third round ended with him forcing a badly-injured Kong to submit.
So at face value, Godzilla can certainly be classified as Godzilla vs. Kong’s winner, but as Max Borenstein sees it, these two Titans aren’t exactly on equal footing. As he put it, Godzilla is more of a force of nature, whereas King Kong can be personified more easily, particularly since Godzilla vs. Kong revealed that he can communicate through sign language. Between the intelligence and his tool-making abilities, King Kong is still one of Earth’s biggest powerhouses, but as we saw when he faced Godzilla, he just doesn’t quite measure up with his opponent in terms of pure brawn. At least he shines in other ways, and Godzilla vs. Kong definitely painted Kong in a more protagonistic light.
With both Godzilla and King Kong both surviving the events of this crossover movie, as Max Borenstein noted, these Titans are now free to flaunt their strength in separate corners of the world, with King Kong ruling Hollow Earth and Godzilla continuing to swim across the seven seas. And hey, at least Kong got the consolation prize of delivering the final blows to MehcaGodzilla! Whether these two will reunite in the MonsterVerse again remains to be seen, but if they do, hopefully they worked out all the aggression that had towards each other that there’s no need for another match. Oh sure, another spectacle like that would be a treat for moviegoers, but I’d rather see them team up again to bring down an even bigger threat.
Godzilla vs. Kong is now playing in theaters, and you can also catch it on HBO Max for the next month. You can sign up for the streaming service (which also contains all the earlier MonsterVerse entries) with this link, and browse through our 2021 movies schedule to discover what movies will arrive later in the year.