Godzilla vs. Kong makes a number of spectacular offers in its brisk 100-minute runtime. From the titular monsters having a transcontinental wrestling match to the almost casual reveal of the Hollow Earth, the movie challenges you every few minutes with some buck wild horseshit that will snap your brain’s neck like Steven Seagal lazily pretending to fight Everett McGill on a train. Much like McGill, you are forced to accept what is happening even as your mind shrieks against the impossibility of it all. Truly, the best film metaphors involve Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.
Anyway, as I mentioned, the film’s middle portion involves getting Kong to Antarctica so he can enter the Hollow Earth through what is apparently the only access point on the entire planet, even though Godzilla just blasts a quick shortcut through the globe later on like a raccoon breaking into a donut shop. The Hollow Earth has a very Jules Verne adventure feel, like Journey to the Center of the Earth and Mysterious Island. It’s loaded with bizarre landscapes and weird creatures, and Kong is taking all of this in like he cannot believe his good fortune despite the fact that it is nearly identical to where he’d been living on Skull Island. Maybe he’s just jazzed to be out of his virtual reality jail cell, like a dog freaking the fuck out on the lone patch of grass in a Carl’s Jr. parking lot. He celebrates by experimenting with gravity-altering moon rocks and drinking some bat monster’s neck meat, and no one here will judge him for it.
Kong’s “genetic memory” eventually leads them to what is arguably the movie’s most incredible offer, with the possible exception of Mechagodzilla. (If you didn’t previously suspect that the big metal lizard was going to show up, its reveal hits like a plane crash in a Muppets film.) Our heroes stumble upon a colossal temple to Kong’s people, sort of like the Hall of Justice for gigantic apes. Inside, there’s a vast chamber of ramps and archways, with a ring of clearly magical pillars situated around a massive throne. Surrounding the throne is a semi-intricate puzzle constructed from axes made of Godzilla scales that powers up an ancient energy source and apparently also trips the Brinks app on Godzilla’s smartphone. (See “blasts his own trapdoor into the Hollow Earth,” above.) Kong senses he is finally where he belongs, thanks to a mix of both instinct and the fact that this is literally the first chair he has ever seen that is his size.
The question that immediately springs to mind is, what kind of hulking monkey wizards built this mysterious Konghenge?
This is the most flat-out magical thing we’ve yet seen in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, a series that to this point has largely been concerned with titanic beefcakes punching each other like contestants in a battle royale made up entirely of appliance repairmen. Then, just over halfway through Godzilla vs. Kong, our muscular ape protagonist pushes open a 500-foot-tall stone door that leads directly into the Sanctum Sanctorum. It’s like watching a Lethal Weapon sequel in which Riggs and Murtaugh trace a cocaine shipment back to Merlin’s workshop. In a movie about an eternal war between two demigods, this was the moment that finally paralyzed my brain. The reveal of this scene tells us that not only was there an entire race of Kongs, but that they also constructed an esoteric temple around a Resident Evil puzzle that supercharges one specific axe with nuclear spellfire in the Mines of fucking Moria. If I could somehow name my children after this scene without going to prison, I’d be proudly introducing the world to The Kong Wizards Who Built a Magic Puzzle Chair Reimann.
I’m giddy just trying to imagine what Kong Wizards would even look like. Do they go for the entire cloak-and-robe ensemble, or do they just wear a pointy moon hat? What’re they making that fabric out of? Every other titan we’ve seen is either reptilian or a bug, so are they spinning wool from the fur of other (presumably) dead Kongs? Literally the only movie I ever care to see from now on is this specific Godzilla vs. Kong prequel.
Shockingly, I didn’t get to obsess over the idea of gray-bearded Kong Wizards laboriously installing a big stone chair and interconnected axe puzzle system like the Flintstones version of a smart home for too long, because the movie almost instantly reveals a related but infinitely more fascinating detail. As Kong approaches the seat of his birthright, we spot a human-sized door carved into the throne’s base, which means two things – first, the Kongs kept people as pets; and second, there’s a room inside that Kong chair, possibly even an entire efficiency apartment.
What is that tiny door for? Is it a storage closet? Are they keeping snacks in there? Old cellphone chargers? Is it like a rummage drawer, nestled safely in the shade of Kong’s mighty balls? Or maybe it’s some kind of maintenance hatch, for when the throne needs a tune-up. Final possibility – there’s a big hole in the center of the seat, and every so often a human needs to crack open the door and enter that perilous chamber with a pressure washer and a crucifix. This honestly makes the most sense, as the floor of the temple is just lousy with bones. If the Kongs can’t even bother to sweep up all the skeletons in their house of worship, there’s frankly no reason to believe they’d deign to wipe their own asses.
But even with the purpose of the throne hatch unequivocally decided, more questions remain. Who built that tiny door? Did the Kong Wizards draw straws and force the loser to chisel a little mouse hole at the base of the Seat of the Eternal Flex? Did a lesser Kong have to build it as part of his court-mandated community service? Or did they make their pet humans do it, sort of like handing someone a shovel to dig their own grave? Either way, they built a mystery cave with exactly one chair directly facing a giant Kong statue, so whichever Kong Wizard currently on temple duty could sit and stare at an avatar of themselves while their underlings perform grundle maintenance using the handy crotch access portal at the chair’s base. Every now and then they might have to get up to plug in the axe in between moosing out absolute Kongers for the help to sweep up, but that’s pretty much the entire routine, presumably repeated on a daily basis for thousands of years. I simply will not rest until the MonsterVerse gives us the four-hour film about the Hollow Earth Kong society that this sequence demands.
KEEP READING: ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’: What You Can Learn By Only Watching Kong and Godzilla’s Faces
The filmmakers have their doubts that the trilogy might actually get a conclusion.
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