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King Kong vs. Godzilla Reviews

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bbcfloridabound
bbcfloridabound

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2013
Godzilla escapes from an ice berg and King Kong is found on an island that has lots of kick ass berries on it which the natives grind into a juice for Kong to drink. After throwing boulders at a giant octopus and drinking the juice, Kong falls asleep and the local Japanese TV guys "ape nap" him and bring him back to Japan so their boss can exploit the big monkey for all he's worth. But en route, the Japanese government order the TV guys to send Kong back his home island because they've got enough problems with Godzilla as it is, they don't need a giant monkey on the rampage as well. Kong escapes and this leads to the inevitable clash of titans as Godzilla battles Kong for the right to demolish Tokyo.

The original Kong from the 1933 film was only 50 feet tall while Godzilla is 400 feet tall, so they had to make Kong a lot bigger for this film and in order to make the odds more even for him they endowed him with the ability to draw strength from lightning bolts. The King Kong suit is hopelessly phony to look at though.

The American version is a travesty that serves merely as filler until the big finale, with a reporter who really makes you long for Raymond Burr's reporter man Steve Martin. Whether or not the Japanese version ever becomes available in America remains to be seen, but hey, see whatever version you can get just to see Kong ram a ridiculously huge tree down Godzilla's throat! 3 1/2 stars 8-22-13
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

March 13, 2013
While the first two entries in the Godzilla franchise were great movies, this third entry combines two legendary horror film monsters into one movie, and you'd expect something great right? Well, as it stands this is a sheer ridiculous outing, and that's the point. However, the plot could have been reworked to really make it worthwhile entertainment. As it stands this is a decent movie that is fun and quite mindless. This is where the series starts to really venture other genres and it pulls it off with entertaining results. Although the plot could have been done better, the film does provide viewers with all the aspects that you'd expect from a Godzilla film. One of the worst things about the films has got to the lacking, flat performances, which really don't stand out. Luckily the chaos that Godzilla creates redeems the film from being a total waste and the fight between King Kong and Godzilla is the standout of the film, and makes this quite entertaining despite its limitations. Go into this one with an open mind, and leave your brain at the door and you enjoy this. I liked the film; I just feel there could have been more effort put into its story and performances. If those aspects of the picture would have been reworked, this would have been truly a great monster film, one that could have been truly memorable. The film's strong point is the special effects, especially the giant octopus scene, which I thought was totally awesome. If you can get past the lacking plot, which is fairly easy, this is a fun and engaging mindless monster flick that will delight fans of the first. However, compared to the first two films, this is simply a decent effort at best, with room for improvement. Be prepared for a bizarre, yet amusing ride, but at the same time, this is far from the best film featuring Godzilla.
Lucas M

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2012
The story and screenplay look like a low budget picture from 50's. King Kong vs. Godzilla is a voluntary, sometimes involuntary comedy, with classic special effects of monsters Japanese, it's rare cult is a 'so bad that it's almost good': boring, but entertaining; surprising, but forgettable, bringing too continuation mistakes. Could you think that lost 105 minutes and later have some pride of say that you finally saw King Kong vs. Godzilla. An odd movie experience.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

November 23, 2011
Saw the American version, which had American-added news footage that constantly interrupted the flow of the movie. I'll wait until I see the original Japanese version to give my full review and true rating.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

August 12, 2010
First of all, I saw the wonderful Japanese version. Second, Godzilla NEVER EVER EVER WON, nor was he meant to. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar and a whore. Anyway, the film itself! It's a great satire/comedy, which is what the producers were aiming for. The first two Godzilla films were straight horror, dealing with man's manipulation of nature. King Kong is a brilliant foe for Godzilla as he IS nature. He wasn't enhanced by radiation, but he was also abused by man. So now we have man's destructive capabilities and exploitation of nature, as well as the creatures they have created. At the core of this film is a TV studio executive trying to boost ratings for a science show. We get a lot of talk about "sponsors" and the "business" before it was cool. There are a few technical difficulties with this film. Their are some very poor edits, as a single shot will cut to a different take and carry on as if nothing happened. The costumes are also of lesser quality, though some exaggerations were made for comical effect. I have many favorite moments in this film. The main one being the first confrontation between Kong and 'Zilla. They square off, beating their chests, throwing rocks, and then...they simply walk away. Backing down as Godzilla shows off his fire breath and has the upper-ground. The final battle is weird and slapstick, and has Kong resurrected by lightning hands and then gaining lightning powers ?!?! This is very enjoyable, camp stuff. You must be willing to see these monsters in a comical light, and to have some lighthearted fun.
Jason O

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2009
"King Kong vs. Godzilla" is the first of the classic King Kong vs. so and so movies that I saw. Japanese people are terrified because Godzilla is on the loose and he is supposedly headed toward Japan. But little do they know that King Kong will soon show up to give them double trouble. But is King Kong that bad of an enemy? It's hard to say after he saves some people from a giant octopus. King Kong is smart and also very large and strong and Godzilla is not so smart and also large and strong, but he also has the ability to breathe fire. Who will win the fight?
This movie was made in the early 60s so of course the special effects weren't as great as they are today and yes you can easily tell that the monsters are fake, but that doesn't take anything away from "King Kong vs. Godzilla" at all! I liked the movies "King Kong" and "Godzilla," but in my opinion, the classic movies where King Kong fights another huge creature are a lot more entertaining and more fun to watch.

If you like the classic duels that involve King Kong, I definitely recommend getting "King Kong vs. Godzilla." It's one of those movies that are fun to watch over and over again throughout the years that will never get old. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001.
Bryan D

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2012
Can I give out negative stars? The King Kong costume is so bad, it looks like a 5 year old child made it. The script is just...lame. And even though there are two endings, they are both lame and neither really adds anything of value to the film. Did I mention it's terrible?
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

March 7, 2012
It's the ultimate, fan-dreamed, hardcore thrill ride of a booming action extravaganza... by 1962 standards. Actually, I don't even know if I can say that, because this seems pretty underwhelming on that level, but hey, it's not like that's a terrible disappointment now-a-days, because, more than the classic Kong and Zilla going head-to-head, we're chomping at the bit for a new, fresher duel between the King of Monsters and the King of Kongs. Actually, for me, I'm more along the lines excited for a duel between Pete Jackson and Roland Emmerich, and I don't mean directorially, I mean I want them to actually duke it out, and I mainly want that, because it's high time someone knocked him around a bit. I didn't identify which one I way referring to when I said "him", because I think they both need their battle scars, yet for different reasons: Roland Emmerich for being such an idiot and Pete Jackson for "Heavenly Creatures". Well, he did do "The Lord of the Rings" movies after that, so I suppose he's forever forgiven, but as we saw with his second "Post-Ring" film, "The Lovely Bones", anything either pertaining to Heaven or just having "Heaven" in the title probably isn't his strong suit. Hey, it least "The Lovely Bones" was better and more subtle than this little number I assure you that I'm about to talk about. Now, I know it's hard to figure out exactly how I feel about this film from that, seeing as I still kind of liked "Bones", but make no "Bones" about it; this film is messier than that and, well, plenty of films, which isn't to say that it still doesn't have some strengths to it.

If anything can be said about this film that's not simply consistently good, but consistently great, it's the score. Granted, by consistently great, I don't mean that the score is constantly active, because it only comes in goes, yet when it does hit the scene - and always at the right places -, it's phenomenal, pumping the film with that feeling of scope and thrill. That certainly comes into play phenomenally during the action sequences, which aren't constantly excellent, as I'll get into later, but they have plenty of moments, and those moments often come at the moments where the special effects are relatively sharp. Moments like those are fun, if not just plain exciting, yet, even if this film didn't have those moments, it would still never be fully bad, because even with its missteps, it's careful to keep its head above water by keeping a consistent atmosphere of some degree of intrigue. However, while that intrigue does save the film, at the same time, it's why the film is so mediocre, for the film never transcends that straight aura. There's no rise or fall to the film; just a constant flow that's never really that impacting in the first place, resulting in what is, as I said, on paper, an ultimate, fan-dreamed, hardcore thrill ride of a booming action extravaganza, yet one executed so underwhelmingly and forgettably. Of course, the lack of oomph isn't the only thing keeping this film down.

I don't know if it's because of the messy storytelling or just the fact that this film it's just too blasted Japanese for me, but eitherway, the "story" aspects - such as they are - are a touch confusing and make matters worse by doing little to build resonance. Yeah, I know it's all about as giant ape fighting a giant lizard, so we shouldn't expect the original "Cloverfield", in terms of top-notch pathos in the midst of all the awesome monster action, but at least give us some investment in the characters, especially if you're going to make the "story" aspects so slow. Okay, it's not a terribly dull film, yet it is dry in atmosphere and slow in pacing when there's no monster-head-bustery going on, making it often disengaging, convoluted and generally unrewarding. However, when there is some monster-head-bustery going on, regardless of the bright spots, most of this action stands to be more intense and less repetitive, and I would say that I understand why the action is mostly underwhelming, seeing as how they're working with a disaster-action epic held down by the limitations of the '60s, yet this time, I can't even give them that benefit of the doubt, because the technical value isn't all that impressive by its own standards. Okay, again, there are a fair amount of pretty shiny bright spots, but on the whole, seams are clear as day, and not just in the visual effects, but the practical effects, such as the monster costumes that aren't abysmal, but lack soul and presence. There's very little consequence and intrigue to make up for the limited dazzle in all of these action sequences, leaving a film that should be defined for awesome action to not even deliver on consistently well-produced action, let alone unique action. Now, again, the film is hardly ever bad, yet it's just as rarely upstanding, being so run-of-the-mill as a creature feature of this type, yet still almost too boastful of its intentions as that big confrontation between two huge - so to speak - icons, leaving the film to write plenty of checks that it delivers on in such a half-baked fashion that it is ultimately rendered utterly forgettable.

At the end of the brawl, the film never slips into the state of being bad, partially thanks to some decent bright spots in action and special effects, as well as a constantly glowing score to keep your eyes and ears glued to the screen, yet on the whole, it's dry and slow outside of the heat of battle and somewhat underwhelmingly-produced when claws and paws go flying, ultimately leaving "King Kong vs. Godzilla" to stumble through the ring, watchable enough for it to keep from collapsing, yet still too mediocre to deliver on genuine thrills or anything worth remembering.

2/5 - Mediocre
Christopher B

Super Reviewer

January 17, 2008
The Japanese version is better, in fact it was kind of ahead of it's time in terms of media and advertisers being parodied, but the American version is still good, dumb fun.
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

May 24, 2007
I prefer the Japanese version where Godzilla wins.
September 27, 2008
It's cheesy as hell, but fun to watch these classic monster clash and the beat the hell out of each other. In desperate need of a remake though.
April 8, 2013
What seems an eon ago, my mother bought my brother and I a VHS copy of "King Kong vs. Godzilla" in a cheapy bin at a local chain store in order to keep us occupied and out of her hair for a night. She knew we loved the 1933 classic "King Kong" and even though we had not seen a "Godzilla" film what better way for kids to get introduced to the character then by seeing two of the mightiest giant monster's go head-to-head on screen, and she was right, we loved every minute of it. Now finally after watching it again all these years later through adult eyes I can't help but let the kid in me to go hog wild in seeing the world's tallest fire breathing lizard drop-kick the world's mightiest gorilla.

The plot is simple - pit two of the biggest movie monsters against one-another as this Japanese production takes the title character from the 1933 film "King Kong" and puts him in the boxing ring with the title character of the 1954 film "Godzilla". Godzilla has broken free from his cold ice block and starts stomping on model houses on his way to Tokyo. In order to try to stop him as firepower doesn't seem to work, the Japanese government decides to fight fire with fire and bring their own monster into the mix by kidnapping King Kong from his tropical island home. The result is a monster fan's dream come true.

"King Kong vs. Godzilla" marked a turning point for both monsters as it was the first time either one were in color. It was also due time for a comeback for Kong as it had been nearly 30 years since the hairy fella had graced the big screen in all his stop motion glory. It should be noted that though this is an entry into the "Godzilla" franchise, it is not a direct sequel to the "King Kong" series. Due to this there are MANY differences in the character. First is the Kong design is done with traditional Japanese suits and not stop motion and the result leaves A LOT to be desired. Seriously Kong's face looks like it melted in that hot summer sun. Second is Kong is much taller and stronger than he was in the original film. Kong would have originally dwarfed to the size of Godzilla and he was easily killed with ordinary bullets. This wouldn't have left much of a fight for Godzilla as that bastard is nearly invincible so the filmmakers decided to bump Kong up to the same size to make it a fair fight. Third is Kong is given the ridiculous ability to grow stronger with electricity. Even as a kid I thought it was a ridiculous ability but it's a left over plot device from the original script idea with Godzilla facing off against a giant Frankenstein monster... seriously that is fucked up.

?The only version of the film I have seen is the American cut from Universal in which they added plenty new footage and stock music from such Universal library films as "The Wolf Man" and "Creature from the Black Lagoon". This newly shot footage for the American version doesn't jell great with the original Japanese footage and mostly consists of United Nation officials talking at the camera explaining what's happening to the audience. This new footage is rather annoying and gets in the way of the mayhem going on in the film. The Japanese plot of the film is to be what expected for a Godzilla film with throw-away characters and odd humor, this time with the tone of the film being geared towards children as opposed to Adults like the first two Godzilla films.

"King Kong vs. Godzilla" is exactly what you would expect it to be - a dumb yet fun romp of a monster film with guys in bad suits kicking each other's ass while destroying model tanks and cities. The kid in me couldn't help but have tons of fun with the film and everything from the bad dubbing to the unintentional laughter (Kong knocking himself out with a rock is my personal favorite) makes this a great monster movie experience. Though Godzilla would go on to make tons of more sequels Kong wouldn't appear alongside him again. Kong would appear in another Japanese production a few years later called "King Kong Escapes" but confusingly it is not a sequel to this film despite similar tone.
January 4, 2012
The hardest part about watching the American version is the ping pong news commentator match in the beginning. This is just a straight-up first ever "What if" so-so fought whats-his-name flick, the last installment the Aliens VS Predators films. Some re-telling of the King Kong story with Japanese actors in black face playing presumably African natives of Skull Island, the film turns into a full on Saturday night popcorn wrestling match as the 2 cinematic titans use Japan as a boxing ring.
themasterpiece69
October 8, 2010
This movie is so-so.The only good part about the movie is the second battle between King Kong and Godzilla.
donaldwhite1
November 23, 2009
I remember when I was a kid and every summer a Godzilla vs. Somebody movie came out. This was the first one. They showed them at the little theater in Perry, Oklahoma but I never went to see any of them. After seeing this movie I see why. I was a smarter kid than I thought. This is the ugliest King Kong I ever saw. The story was silly. The Japanese actors were silly and the American narrators were pointless. Most of the movie was spent getting King Kong and Godzilla in the same place. They fight for a few minutes then fall into the ocean. King Kong swims away and Godzilla vanishes. The whole thing was more of a live action cartoon. It was guys in rubber monster suits wrestling and trashing miniatures for no reason. Maybe I would have enjoyed it when I was six or seven. My friends at school seemed to have, it just didn't occur to me back then to ask my parents to take me. By the time I was aware of Godzilla they were promoting "Godzilla vs. The Thing" and "Godzilla vs. It".
maxpowerhjays
October 27, 2007
king kong in no way possible could beat godzilla this movie is the worst of the godzilla series. "this is some hollywood made up bullshit"
November 23, 2007
Depending upon which version you watch the tone is a bit different (Japanese is satire, American is just cheese), but seeing cinema's greatest monsters duking it out is fun.
hockalocker
May 5, 2008
This is one of the most popular Godzilla films. It has a lot of humor. It has two big monsters. It is not one of my favorite.
aicdragon
September 8, 2007
BOOOOO!!!!! I've only seen the American version and for the uneducated, they changed the ending from the Japanese release for the U.S. shores.... in the Japanese one Godzillawins... how did they alter this movie for America... do the math on that one!!! All I have to say is who should win in a fight?... A fight between A BIG OVERSIZED APE!!!... OR A Giant Radioactive bred, radioactive fire breathing, regenerating lizard?.... Well DUH!! the lizard... uhm... right?
borndolo
July 25, 2007
yo, when i was a kid, this was like my favorite movie foreal.. they had the special potion that would put King Kong to sleep and when he fought Godzilla on the Island!! Yo, that was the shiT!!
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