Director Adam Wingard has been doing the press tour for the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong film and gave a rather bizarre statement regarding criticism of monster movies.
Speaking with Variety’s Brent Lang, Wingard was asked about how he approached the fight scenes.
He responded, “We allow the topography of the battle locations to guide us. Some of the criticism leveled at monster movies is that it’s always just monsters smacking each other and rolling around. I wanted the action scenes to be more memorable.”
Wingard went on to describe the film’s first major battle, “For our first major action scene, which is an ocean battle, we have Kong at a severe disadvantage. He can’t really swim that well. He can’t hold his breath. Godzilla swims really well. He’s on his turf and he already has an advantage because he’s a stronger monster.”
I’m not sure what critics Wingard is reading, but most fans that criticize monster films are wondering why there isn’t more of the monster fights. They would rather have that over any ongoing drama among the human characters.
While having the topography guide you can definitely work out, you still need to have great fight choreography, a variety of different attacks and counters, and just letting the monsters let their abilities loose. You also need to make sure there is real risk involved and that the stakes of the fight are real.
As an example, the first fight in Godzilla: King of the Monsters between Godzilla and Ghidorah could have been way better if there was less focus on the humans scrambling to get out of the airplane and we actually got to see Godzilla and Ghidorah duke it out.
Instead we get short bits and pieces of their fight with Godzilla biting into Ghidorah and Ghidorah giving it back to him. The fight eventually culminates in a similar fashion with Godzilla using his atomic breath attack and missing. Ghidorah counters with his lightning attack that sends Godzilla to the ocean depths.
The attacks are too similar and the first encounter between these two alpha beasts ends up being somewhat of a let down. It’s a short encounter, Godzilla gets taken out way too easily, and we don’t really get to see the fight because there is too much focus on the human characters.
In contrast, Pacific Rim’s defense of Hong Kong is an absolute master piece of a monster fight. The focus is purely on the robots and the kaiju as they unload unique surprise attacks, have evolved abilities, and are constantly throwing our heroes for a twist.
The heroes have to adapt to these new abilities as the fight progresses and find ways to overcome, using a tanker as a club is just a cherry on top.
It also doesn’t hurt that the film chained together multiple fights that culminate in Gypsy Danger taking on first Leatherback and then Otachi. But almost all of those fights are more memorable than the first one between Godzilla vs Ghidorah in King of the Monsters.
Here’s hoping Godzilla vs Kong will feature fights more akin to Pacific Rim rather than what we got in the first bout between Godzilla and Ghidorah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
What do you make of Wingard’s comments regarding the fights for Godzilla vs Kong? What are you expecting from the film?