Movie Review – Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

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Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has no shortage of brutal big fights. Perhaps that’s all that matter.


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Review: 5 thumbs-up and 4 thumbs-down
Snappy Movie Review | Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Synopsis

The world is somewhat at peace. Kong is in Hollow Earth. Godzilla is on the surface. The separation of the two Titans prevents another devastating showdown. (Though Godzilla still regularly thrashes other Titans, and while doing so, destroys cities) A mysterious distress signal from Hollow Earth, however, threatens to change the status quo. Dr. Ilene Andrews’ expedition to the subterranean realm also discovers that there are indeed many things humankind still does not know about the hidden world. For example, a conqueror by the name of the Skar King once tried to destroy the surface world.

Snappy Review

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is a difficult movie to review.

Oh, I don’t mean it’s so good or so terrible that I’m lost for words. Were I to use the usual yardsticks, I would actually have quite a lot to say. For example, I feel the story would have mightily benefitted from being less ambitious. The graphics, while eye-catching, would feel more at home in a PS5 video game.

And while it’s adorable, I think Kong is a smidge too human-like in this one. More than once I was disorientated into thinking I was watching a prequel for the upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

Instead, I say this latest MonsterVerse episode is tough to review because do things like story quality and characterisation truly matter for such a show? Kajiu movies have very specific molds and audiences, doubly so for action-oriented ones that have ditched the socio-political annotations of the oldest genre titles. As far as what things that matter are concerned, like rampaging action and widespread carnage, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire delivers the goods, never mind that the visuals often become too game-like.

The big-guy fights are frequent and intense. With Kong and the main villain being higher-intelligence beasties, there’s a bit more wit in the bashes as well, paired with reasonable choreography that throws in the effort to ensure you know what is happening with whom.

As a MonsterVerse episode, there is no shortage of franchise-building enthusiasm although it’s probably lost on all except true fans. Let’s be honest. It’s been a while since Godzilla vs. Kong? The human leads like Ilene Andrews and Jia didn’t exactly leave that much of an impression in the last movie, too, or ever since, to invite genuine excitement with their returns.

The expansion of Hollow Earth mythos is a correct approach but with the introduction of a human-like Kaiju villain and various god devices, I wonder whether the franchise is pushed too much towards the superhero genre. This is a move that doesn’t feel appropriate to me as it forsakes the unbridled, amoral force of nature undertones of traditional Godzilla movies.

I hope Godzilla doesn’t start talking or getting girlfriends, in the next episode.

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