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By Derek Lawrence
April 05, 2021 at 02:22 PM EDT
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Let's be clear, no one's got s--- on King Kong.

Since opening Wednesday in theaters and on HBO Max, Godzilla vs. Kong has been the movie event of 2021, earning monster buzz on social media and easily setting the pandemic record at the box office with a five-day total of $48 million. The release proved to be a victory for all involved, whether it be Warner Bros. and its industry-shaking new rollout strategy or the titular titans.

But as much as we loved watching Kong beat his chest, or pop his shoulder back into place, or starring as half of the most-anticipated fight since Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five, there were also actual humans in Godzilla vs. Kong — and people who are universally liked too, from Coach Taylor to Paper Boi. And while they weren't the main attraction, we couldn't help but wonder which of them came out on top. For the record, director Adam Wingard doesn't qualify for consideration because anyone who can pull off such an epic Godzilla-Kong showdown is an indisputable champ.

So, welcome to the latest EW investigation: Who was the human winner of Godzilla vs. Kong?

10. Shun Oguri

The character of Ren Serizawa helps serve as a connection to 2014's Godzilla, with Shun Oguri portraying the son of Ken Watanabe's Dr. Ishirō Serizawa. Considering that nod, it's strange that the actor, who was intriguing anytime he was onscreen, and his telepathic Mechagodzilla pilot didn't get more to do.

9. Kyle Chandler

Kyle Chandler and his onscreen daughter Millie Bobby Brown are the only returnees from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the previous MonsterVerse movie. And yet, this beloved Emmy-winning actor somehow went from leading non-Godzilla man to having essentially like two scenes and being a very inattentive single dad who doesn't know when his daughter makes a quick trip from Florida to Hong Kong. That being said, he does get to deliver the most relatable line in the entire script: "That podcast is filling your head with garbage."

8. Eiza González

In recent years, Eiza González has popped with supporting roles in Baby Driver and Hobbs & Shaw. While Godzilla vs. Kong's shady Maia Simmons won't be the role that makes her the movie star that she's on her way to being, she does get a great — and memorable — movie death. Minus points though for Maia suggesting they "dump the Monkey."

7. Millie Bobby Brown

As previously mentioned, Brown reprises her Godzilla: King of the Monsters role of Madison Russell, continuing to corner the market on spunky kids chasing down grand conspiracies. It feels like there probably should have been some time spent on the fact that Madison experienced real trauma in the previous film, losing her mother, the character brushes that off and instead gets to have a fun adventure with Brian Tyree Henry and Julian Dennison.

6. Julian Dennison

Dennison, an 18-year-old New Zealand actor known for Deadpool 2 and Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople, doesn't carry the same name recognition as many of his costars, but as Josh Valentine he serves as the perfect comic relief and third wheel to Brown and Henry.

Godzilla vs. Kong
Credit: LEGENDARY AND WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT

5. Alexander Skarsgård

It feels like Hollywood really wants to make Alexander Skarsgård a movie star (despite his best work still being on TV), and he's probably the closest thing to the leading human man that Godzilla vs. Kong has, which makes it so strange that he doesn't have much to do. But what he does have is a charm and likability as Dr. Nathan Lind, and that likability is even enhanced by the fact that Skarsgård learned sign language to communicate with deaf costar Kaylee Hottle. And speaking of...

4. Kaylee Hottle

Young actress Kaylee Hottle serves as the true heart of Godzilla vs. Kong. And yes, I know how wild it is to type that there is "true heart" in Godzilla vs. Kong. But the relationship between Jia, a deaf orphan, and Kong is legitimately sweet, with one of the film's best images being their tender encounter in the rain.

3. Demián Bichir

The biggest compliment I can give an actor starring in any big dumb movie is that they know exactly the movie that they're in, and that is 100 percent the case for Demián Bichir. Portraying human villain Walter Simmons, the Oscar-nominated actor (who was also outstanding in FX's underrated The Bridge), carries both a gravitas and hamminess that makes for the ideal combination in a film with "vs." in the title. Plus, like father, like daughter when it comes to great movie deaths.

2. Brian Tyree Henry

How many movies does Brian Tyree Henry have to steal before we give him his own? Since breaking out as Paper Boi on Atlanta, the Tony-nominated actor has been doing incredible supporting work in Widows, If Beale Street Could Talk, Joker, and now Godzilla vs. Kong. Admittedly, the last few months of real-life have made insane conspiracies not as endearing as they used to be in movies, but Henry's podcaster Bernie Hayes brings the right mix of madness, humor, fear, and genuine emotion to something that might not deserve any of that. And get used to Henry dominating the big screen, with pivotal roles in Marvel's Eternals and Brad Pitt's action-thriller Bullet Train on the way.

1. Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall is an award-winning actress who has starred in films from directors like Christopher Nolan, Woody Allen, Ben Affleck, and Ron Howard. She's also already garnering buzz for her directorial debut Passing, which premiered earlier this year at Sundance. Now that you have her résumé, here are some of the Godzilla vs. Kong lines from Dr. Ilene Andrews, a.k.a. "The Kong Whisperer": "There can't be two alpha titans," "It's Godzilla," "There was a war, and they're the last ones standing," "I know this for sure: Kong bows to no one," and "When it comes to Kong, what I say goes!" What I was going to say was Hall is next-level overqualified to be in a movie called Godzilla vs. Kong but then I remembered that she had a prominent role in the Razzie darling Holmes & Watson. And still, with winning action movie dialogue like the above, I know this for sure: She bows to no human in this film.

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