Godzilla vs. Kong

Movie review by
Monique Jones, Common Sense Media
Godzilla vs. Kong Movie Poster Image
Blockbuster monster mash is heavy on mayhem, light on story.
  • PG-13
  • 2021
  • 113 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 91 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It takes courage to fight for peace between humans and monsters. Empathizing with King Kong and Godzilla helps the characters with their mission of saving the world.

Positive Role Models

Main characters want to keep balance between monsters and humans. Madison Russell, in particular, goes to the limit to save Godzilla from being hurt. Jia speaks to King Kong to help him feel at ease and to find his home. Researchers Ilene Andrews and Nathan Lind use their smarts and access to technology to help King Kong. Positive representation of a deaf person who is also Indigenous, but despite cast's diversity, no true focus on expanding BIPOC characters' meaning to the plot aside from using them for optics of inclusion.

Violence

Lots of action and sci-fi violence. Big, over-the-top clashes between Godzilla and King Kong, including explosions and Godzilla's nuclear blasts. Gory moments involving the titans (King Kong, Godzilla, Mechagodzilla) tearing apart monsters or killing humans. High-tech guns. 

Sex
Language

Swear words include "hell," "bitch," "s--t," "dammit," "goddamn," and a line that hints at "f--k." Slang that could be considered ableist is used, including "crazy" "stupid," and "nuts." Exclamatory use of "oh my God" and "Jesus."  

Consumerism

CNN is part of the film's world.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mentions of drinking. Pivotal scene involving a flask and alcohol. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Godzilla vs. Kong -- the follow-up to both 2014's Godzilla and 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters -- is a sci-fi/fantasy movie about the age-old battle between two of the world's biggest titans. Like the previous films, it's full of explosive, over-the-top action violence, including fights, destruction, and nuclear blasts. There are also some gory moments when the titans tear monsters apart and kill humans, and high-tech guns are used. Language isn' t extreme but includes use of "s--t," "bitch," "goddamn," and more. There are mentions of drinking, and a pivotal scene involves a flask and alcohol. Courage and empathy help the characters succeed. Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry star.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytwoboys11 March 27, 2021

Loud but not too scary

I took my 7 almost 8 year old to watch this. It was a really good movie, not too scary, just a lot of fighting between Kong and Godzilla. Godzilla is a bit scar... Continue reading
Adult Written bycjwalker02 March 31, 2021

Pleasantly pleased!

I watched this latest Godzilla and Kong flick and found it to be a fun action packed movie to watch with my son. He thought it was fantastic and is already plan... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGamingGamerMovi... April 3, 2021

Godzilla and Kong fight once again!

You came to watch Godzilla vs Kong. You get Godzilla vs Kong.

Ever since Legendary picked up the Godzilla and Kong franchises, the movies have been better than... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old April 3, 2021

What's the story?

In GODZILLA VS. KONG, the world's two oldest titans, Godzilla and King Kong, meet to have a final epic showdown to decide who is the true king of monsters. Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) goes on a crusade to Hong Kong with conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) and her friend Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison) to stop Apex Cybernetics from harming Godzilla. Meanwhile, researchers Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård) try to help Kong find his lost home near the center of the Earth. Ilene's deaf ward, Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the last of her Indigenous tribe, bonds with Kong via sign language, making her one of the few humans Kong trusts. 

Is it any good?

This movie is great if you only want to see King Kong and Godzilla fight, but aside from their much advertised matchup, there's not much else to it. Characters from previous Godzilla franchise films -- including Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and his daughter, Madison (Brown), are mixed in with new folks to try to flesh out the Godzilla universe. But regardless of whether someone is from the franchise or is brand new, it's hard to know why we should care about them or their backstories. In some cases, we don't even learn their names until near the end of the film. 

That lack of cohesion is also present in the threadbare "story." Godzilla vs. Kong knows that its main draw is the CGI fight between the two titular monsters. Apart from that, there's no coherent plotting or character development. Also, despite the diversity in the cast, including Henry, Hall, Dennison, Shun Oguri, Demián Bichir, and Eiza González, there's no true focus on expanding BIPOC characters' meaning to the plot aside from using them for the optics of inclusion. For instance, Oguri's character, Apex Cybernetics researcher and Mechagodzilla pilot Ren Serizawa, continues the annoying trend in the current Godzilla franchise of having a Japanese character be part of the cast apparently solely to say "Gojira," the monster's actual name. Along with that, he's mostly a sneering henchman for Bichir's character, Apex CEO Walter Simmons. Simmons' daughter, Maya (González), is also simply a flat villain with limited lines. Overall, the film is a mess. But if you just want to see monsters fighting, it's entertaining for that aspect alone. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Godzilla vs. Kong's violence and destruction. How does the impact of the massive-scale devastation seen in this type of movie compare to more realistic violence? Do you think these kinds of movies can desensitize viewers to violence?

  • Why is it important for the human characters to empathize with King Kong and Godzilla? How does King Kong act as a protector?

  • How does King Kong and Godzilla's battle affect humanity? What's most compelling in monster movies like this one: the story or the nonstop action? Why?

  • Japanese Godzilla filmmakers used monster suits and miniatures to create their special effects, not CGI or stop-motion. If you've seen the original (or its imitators), which do you prefer: low-tech "practical" effects, or something more realistic and high-tech? Which usually works better in movies? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi action blockbusters

Themes & Topics

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