Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Review

Both Godzilla and King Kong have been reaching some new heights of success since being part of the MonsterVerse in their films, but expanding the franchise has had its challenges. Blending epic fights with Titans and human drama has been difficult to balance on screen despite the spectacles that the movies have created. Godzilla vs Kong has become a success as these two monsters got to duke it out on screen, something that fans have been looking forward to. Now Legendary Pictures and director Adam Wingard look to replicate that magic with the latest film Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Both of these films have put a major focus on the Titans and give them more characteristics. The film isn’t perfect, but it still delivers on creating breathtaking fights that should mesmerize the screen for audiences.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire follows both of these gigantic creatures as they stay in their territories without crossing any lines to destroy Earth like in the previous film. We see Godzilla continuing the fight on Earth to protect the natural order while Kong tries to make himself at home on Hollow Earth. Their truce soon becomes broken after a hole collapses on Hollow Earth to reveal an ancient threat that causes both these Titans on opposite ends of the spectrum with humanity caught in the middle of them both once again. We see that Monarch is keeping a close eye on these two as scientist Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) also discovers a possible danger coming from Hollow Earth and its connections to her adoptive daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle), who is the last among the Iwi tribe. The situation forces both Kong and Godzilla to work together to stop this threat from unleashing havoc on both worlds.

Despite the film having both Godzilla and Kong, it’s the gigantic ape who’s the major star here. While we see Godzilla sprucing some big energy on Earth to prepare for a big battle, Kong gets a lot of screen time as he wanders Hollow Earth in search of more of his kind and finally finds a place he can call home. Kong has a lot to do in the film as he befriends more apes and learns to adapt to these unknown surroundings. We also see the relationship he makes with a young adolescent ape named Suko. Once the conflict between Kong and tribe leader Scar King takes place, that’s when the film gets the ground going. It is great to see Godzilla causing destruction back on Earth and fighting other creatures, but it’s Kong who gets more personality to shine whenever he’s on screen.

Adam Wingard returns for his second film in the MonsterVerse and he creates a clear vision of the world he wants audiences to see inhabited by these magnificent and humongous creatures. The visuals with the Titans and Hollow Earth are stunning to look at. Wingard also does a great job in providing some powerful dialogue-less scenes with Kong and the Apes, which help amplify the storytelling with the amazing VFX. There’s some fun to be had with the tone of the film, which is silly and engaging for the most part. We get some funny moments from Kong as he gets put into some situations that are human problems like getting a toothache. Sometimes the film can get somewhat absurd, especially knowing that Titans are something of a normal occurrence on Earth. But it seems like everyone is kind of in on it, which can take you out of the movie at times.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, like other films in the MonsterVerse, still struggles with the human aspect of the plot. Some of the things that Rebecca Hall’s character says can be a lot of scientific jargon that is easily brushed over, but it seems the writers haven’t quite figured out what their usage is. Perhaps the best human interaction we’ve gotten is between Dan Stevens’ Trapper and Brian Tyree Henry’s Bernie Hayes as they share some wild and hilarious moments with their chemistry. Kaylee has some good moments with Kong as they both share a similar struggle to find their place in a new world. However, there’s not enough of an emotional connection that can justify the core relationship between Jia and Kong like in the last film.

Getting rid of the problem that the previous films had with Monarch as this evil organization, has left Godzilla x Kong in a problematic position with its hollow plot. Even the pacing of the film feels off as it struggles to balance between spectacle and story to fill in the two-hour runtime. The film is at its best during the final battle where audiences get to see some major battles between Titans. There are some good concepts connecting the Titans to the humans, but it doesn’t leave enough room to expand on them. 

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has figured out what kind of a film it wants to be after establishing the MonsterVerse with Godzilla. Despite its flaws, the movie doesn’t shy away from making the Titans the center focus of the story. It continues to be a blockbuster experience thanks to the incredible visuals and cinematography that puts audiences right into the action. The movie builds on its plot and leads to a satisfying finale where we see more of a buddy dynamic between Godzilla and Kong. Seeing Kong’s journey also adds a lot of depth to the film that audiences can get behind. There’s plenty of humor to go around, even if it is ridiculous at times. The human characters still lack the emotional connection, but all that matters is seeing Godzilla and Kong on screen.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is now out in theaters everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


All Ages of Geek Simple Curved Second Line Green