USA TODAY US Edition

Meeting of the monsters takes a momentous turn

Spoiler alert: “Godilla vs. Kong” features surprises and a surprise guest.

- Brian Truitt

Spoiler alert: The following post reveals major plot points and the ending of “Godzilla vs. Kong,” so beware if you haven’t seen it yet.

How do you make an already epic fight night between Godzilla and King Kong much better? Turn it into a threeway dance.

Mechagodzi­lla, a Terminator-esque robotic version of the thunder lizard, makes his modern debut in the Warner Bros.’ MonsterVer­se as the ginormous surprise guest star of “Godzilla vs. Kong” (now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max). Created by men to take on these other monstrous titans, Mechagodzi­lla makes for a pretty formidable foe – until Godzilla and Kong form an even more fearsome tag team.

In “Godzilla vs. Kong,” the world doesn’t understand why Godzilla, who had become a protector for Earth, is attacking cities. There is a reason: He's going after various places where APEX Industries – headed by villainous CEO Walter Simmons (Demian Bichir) – is working on pieces of what later becomes Mechagodzi­lla.

APEX has figured out a way to create a mechanical kaiju from the severed head of defeated Godzilla foe Ghidorah (see: “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”) and create a psychic bond so a human could control Mechagodzi­lla. But that control is severed and Mechagodzi­lla turns out to have a mind of its own, romping and stomping through Hong Kong battling Kong.

Getting to use Mechagodzi­lla was “irresistib­le” for “Godzilla vs. Kong” director Adam Wingard, who calls the metal doppelgäng­er, which first appeared in the 1974 Japanese film “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzi­lla, “one of the coolest things I’d ever seen as a kid,” Wingard says.

Because the other MonsterVer­se movies such as 2014’s “Godzilla” and 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island” were “kind of grounded” even with huge monsters, Wingard did wonder how “something so outlandish and insane” as Mechagodzi­lla would land.

Yet he says “King of Monsters” two years ago “already establishe­d that the humans could build all these insane, Illuminati-type bases everywhere so it wasn't out of the question that we could do the same.”

In the end, Mechagodzi­lla is a tough matchup for both Kong and Godzilla even together, and to defeat the mechanized menace, they need help from a group of humans, led by Godzilla ally Maddie Russell (Millie Bobby Brown). (Also helpful: an ax found during a jaunt to Hollow Earth, a primordial locale at the center of the planet.)

For Wingard, that man and monster need to work together is the ultimate thesis of “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

“Traditiona­lly, these films are always about man vs. nature, and the extension nowadays of technology vs. nature is definitely going to be more and more real as things develop over time,” the director says. “I always saw this movie as being an exploratio­n of the past and the future. People are coming to see the monsters fight, but there's a lot going on and we cram a lot into under two hours.”

 ?? PROVIDED BY WARNER BROS. PICTURES ?? The leading men of “Godzilla vs. Kong” take on a surprise foe.
PROVIDED BY WARNER BROS. PICTURES The leading men of “Godzilla vs. Kong” take on a surprise foe.

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