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Agree to Disagree: Godzilla vs. Kong

by Mason Kupiainen and Blake Chapman

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="290"] Image from CNET[/caption]

There have been countless “versus” movies where studios pin two popular characters against one another. Aliens vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason, and Batman vs. Superman are some of the most notable ones, with Godzilla vs. Kong being added to that ever-growing list. Between these two titans, who is the reigning champion?

Kong holds the title King for a reason

Comparing the two’s characteristics, Kong has much more depth than Godzilla. Godzilla wasn’t created to have a deeper meaning than simply being a natural disaster and a political allegory. His movies originally started out as a metaphor for Hiroshima and incorporates political commentary into the films. Later films have tried to flesh out his character, but Godzilla still remains the typical apocalyptic monster that stomps around destroying cities. Kong on the other hand, has more depth as a character who cares about humans, for the most part. In almost all of his films, we see him having connections with one of the characters—even sacrificing himself to save a woman. 

Image from Vox

All of the iterations of King Kong films have explored different themes with the character, such as politics and sexuality. However, at the heart of the character, Kong is a being who’s taken from his homeland and forced into situations he doesn’t understand. Many allegories can be taken from this, but this makes Kong a more sympathetic character that we can connect with versus Godzilla who’s a little one-note.

Looking at their fighting abilities, Kong is more agile and faster than Godzilla. Kong is able to jump and run around while Godzilla sluggishly moves about. Being a giant gorilla gives him the advantage of being able to get around faster while Godzilla is left in the dust. Along with this, Kong has the brains and ability to fight hand-to-hand. Sure, Godzilla has his fire breath, but we see that being used against him in the trailer. Kong is able to throw punches, kicks, and build weapons. Godzilla doesn’t have any of these abilities and is left with his tiny T-Rex arms dangling uselessly by his side. He’s unable to throw any punches, can’t kick, and is stuck having to rely on shooting fire from long distances. However, as seen in the trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong, this will be used against him. 

Although it hasn’t been officially proven within this universe, Kong appears to be stronger as well. Looking at Kong: Skull Island, he tears and rips apart Skull Crawlers with his massive arm muscles. While Godzilla does have the power and strength to tear down buildings and such, Kong also has that ability. The lack of arm strength knocks Godzilla back since he doesn’t have much to work with in terms of close-range fighting.

This viewpoint is by Mason Kupiainen

Kong is about to bow down to the one, true king

Let’s cut right to the chase, if you believe that King Kong, a giant ape that had to be considerably sized up to even stand a chance in this film, you are delusional, and I am gonna hit you with a couple quick reasons why.

First of all, Godzilla is the more experienced fighter through and through. Over the course of his decades-long filmography, he has faced a plethora of iconic Japanese movie monsters. Mothra, King Godora, even MechaGodzilla have all been subsequently defeated by this gigantic atomic lizard. The lessons learned from those previous bouts would go a long way against any opponent, but it should be multiplied further considering that Kong has not fought that many foes on a large scale. 

The last time this gargantuan gorilla battled one-on-one just so happened to be against Godzilla in 1962. In Toho’s King Kong vs. Godzilla Kong only makes it out of the final faceoff because of an interrupting act of God after a bolt of lightning strikes him, revives him, and charges him back up to fighting power. I know expecting realism and refusing to adopt any suspension of disbelief is completely illogical in this scenario, but I would hedge my bets that Legendary’s new “Monsterverse” series is not going to implement ridiculous weather patterns or other ridiculous excuses to keep Kong in the fight.

Image from Hindustan Times

While Godzilla might not be more maneuverable on land, Kong does not stand a chance if this fight heads to the water. The world’s oceans are Godzilla’s domain, so unless they are airdropping him into Mongolia or continental Europe like they did with King Kong in 1963, their clash is going to be near or on the ocean. Not only does that give the king of monsters a great escape route, but an impressive advantage should both combatants dive into the waves. Godzilla’s ferocious tail and power underwater is gonna allow him to wipe the floor with his adversary.

Godzilla might also just be straight unkillable. Sure, he has been weakened time and time again but this prehistoric beast feeds on nuclear energy. The climax of Godzilla: King of Monsters involved Dr. Serizawa sacrificing himself by detonating a nuke about ten feet away from the giant who proceeds to surface from his underwater lair, like nothing even happened. Other than the deadliest weapon humanity has ever created, a well placed slash from a spear or sword might work, but considering the look and feel of his hide, nothing's gonna do much as spill a drop of blood.

Finally, and this might be a huge non-argument, but overthink the minutia. 

This viewpoint is by Blake Chapman

Sources: NBC News, Vanity Fair, Warner Bros. Fandom, YouTube

Images: CNET, Hindustan Times, Vox

Featured Image: Taylor Sheridan