Book Review | Godzilla vs. Kong: The Art of the Ultimate Battle Royale
“The Art of Godzilla vs Kong is outstanding in every respect” Read Carl’s 4-star review now.
Godzilla vs Kong. The ultimate battle between two of cinema’s most legendary titans is currently in theatres around the world. Whether you enjoyed it or not, the fact is the visuals are stunning. The design of the creatures, the design of the places where the action takes place. All blow the audience away with their construction and their look. And all are thanks to the minds behind the visuals and sets.
These people have the task to bring their ‘A’ game, to stun the audience with what they will see. Everything is storyboarded out with the look in mind. What one person visualizes, others have to make it into reality.
Godzilla vs. Kong: One Will Fall: The Art of the Ultimate Battle Royale | Titan Books
‘The Art Of Godzilla vs. Kong‘ goes some way in bringing to the reader all the hard work that has been put into the film. It is a book that doesn’t skimp on details, pulling the unsung heroes into the light. To us, they are faceless names in the credits. To Hollywood, they are the cream of the crop. Author Daniel Wallace has written yet another worthy behind-the-scenes expose of the work that went into the movie. And I defy readers to not be blown away with what they will read and see inside the covers of the book.
As soon as we open the book, we are thrust into the world of Godzilla vs Kong. Stunning concept art featuring the pair is here, all fangs bared as they prepare to take each other on. It is tremendous to look upon this detail. One encompasses the contents page, much to our delight. We turn the page and are greeted with a foreword from director Adam Wingard. In his own words, he describes how although he was a massive Godzilla movie fan, he always thought of Kong as being the emotional heart of the film. How he considered him to be almost like John McClane in ‘Die Hard, an older, worn down warrior. Wingard speaks about stepping up from indie films to make a massive Hollywood blockbuster. The director gives us a real insight into his thoughts regarding the task of making the film.
We now come to our first section. It is aptly titled ‘The Ultimate Match-up‘. Because the film is. This is what we have all wanted to see, the pair tearing pieces from each other in a battle for the ages. Concept art is presented here again and is breathtaking. A roaring Godzilla with Kong leaping at him from behind with his ax raised. The pair battling on a navy warship. Godzilla knocking Kong through the air during their battle in Hong Kong.
They are presented to us here in stunning clarity. In full color. The text that accompanies the artwork and photos explains all we need to know about the thoughts behind the film. How the idea, back in 2014 with the reboot of Godzilla, that the two titans would meet was met with a less than enthusiastic response.
A CLASH OF TITANS
However, as ‘Godzilla‘ and later on, ‘Kong: Skull Island‘ became huge successes, the plan was accelerated. The two were always destined to meet from day one. And it was always the case that one would stand tall by the end credits. The foundations are revealed here. We move on and see the shoot begin. We are presented with a full-color photograph that shows Wingard, Millie Bobby Brown, and Julian Dennison on set during a break in filming. More behind-the-scenes photos accompany the text over the coming pages, giving us a wider insight into the production.
Next up, we come upon ‘Monarch And Apex‘. We will discover here the origins and foundations of both of these agencies. We have followed Monarch from the very start of our journey with these two titans, starting back in 2014. But Apex is new to us. We will see the facilities it has, the inside of the buildings and everything we wish to know. Alongside this, we discover the cast and crew of the film, including Millie Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, Julian Dennison, and Alexander Skarsgaard. Rebecca Hall, and Kyle Chandler among others. Each discusses their characters, their backstories, and their reasons for participating in the film.
The following two sections are devoted to the Titans themselves. The first is titled ‘The Champ: Godzilla‘ while the second has the ‘The Challenger: Kong‘ moniker. Both of our beloved creatures get their time in the spotlight in their respective sections, with full descriptive text to go alongside the color stills and concept art that are provided. Surprisingly, Godzilla’s is rather sparse when compared to Kong’s. Kong gets a nice lengthy chapter devoted to him which includes an in-depth look at his new, older appearance. We are also given a breakdown and anatomy of the sea-fight between the pair including the concept art of the inside of the ship carrying Kong as it begins to capsize. The detail is wonderous.
We now move onto ‘The Hollow Earth‘. Here we are informed of everything we need to know about this important plot point. I won’t go into any detail lest you have yet to see the film and don’t want it spoiled for you. Suffice to say, it is an integral section of the film and goes a long way to making sense of things that have been referred to during our journey through the films to get to this point.
THE MAIN EVENT
From here on in, the book goes into territory which is incredibly spoiler-filled. I will halt here as, again, those yet to see or experience the film and wish to see it clean, won’t have it ruined for them. All I will say is the sections cover the REAL villain of the piece and go onto ‘The Main Event‘ in Hong Kong. Those who have seen the film will know what I’m referring to. And it is a spectacular vision. The book again delves deep into the hollow earth and the look and design of the climatic events and reveals. Concept art, set photos, and rewarding text accompany our journey through the pages. And with this final flourish, the book ends.
The book’s final part does open up about the possibility of more movies or TV shows in the ‘Monsterverse’. Originally, Godzilla vs Kong was to be it, the grand finale and the ending of said ‘Monsterverse’. But there are so many possibilities that remain open that the filmmakers wisely decided to leave the door ajar. The book covers this in good detail and provides a fitting climax to what has gone before. The book is outstanding in every respect. It handles the main characters extremely well and provides a wonderfully engrossing inside look at what the pair bring to the (fight) table. The human characters get a look in too but this is about our two protagonists. And in that respect, the book delivers a knockout blow.
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Godzilla vs. Kong – One Will Fall: The Art of the Ultimate Battle Royale by Daniel Wallace is published by Titan Books and is available to buy NOW!
Carl Roberts is the News Editor of The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!