USA TODAY US Edition
Meeting of the monsters takes a momentous turn
Spoiler alert: “Godilla vs. Kong” features surprises and a surprise guest.
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.”