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'Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire' Review: Kong Shines and Conquers


Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictureas


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the fifth film in the MonsterVerse, once again directed by Adam Wingard, and stars Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, and Kaylee Hottle. In this movie, King Kong is looking for other giant apes in Hollow Earth and discovers they are being enslaved by another ape called the Skar King, who is controlling the ice-powered Titan Shimo. Godzilla is facing the Titans who come onto the surface world. This movie also comes out months after Godzilla Minus One, which was produced by Toho, where this movie is produced by Legendary Pictures. Going into this movie, I wasn’t expecting it to be as amazing as Godzilla Minus One, but I wanted a fun, action movie.        


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is more of a King Kong movie than a Godzilla movie. Kong is the main character of the movie and gets a lot of screen time. Kong fans will be satisfied with Kong’s role and how much he gets to fight other Titans. Godzilla fans might be more disappointed in Godzilla’s screen time and smaller role. The MonsterVerse still hasn’t done much more with Godzilla. The Skar King is a great villain who matches up well with Kong. When Kong interacts with him and the other giant apes, it gives me Planet of the Ape vibes. Kong gets help from a smaller ape named Suko and I enjoyed the dynamic between the two. Shimo was cool to watch as well and didn’t feel wasted.


Hollow Earth looks incredible and I’m glad the movie took place there most of the time. The action was entertaining. Earth’s surface for once wasn’t a huge focus except for a few moments. The human scenes in this movie felt minimal compared to previous MonsterVerse movies. There weren’t any pointless story arcs that took away from the movie. There is a story arc where Rebecca Hall’s character, Dr. Ilene Andrews, wants what’s best for her adoptive daughter Jia, played by Kaylee Hottle. The only issue I had with the human characters in this movie was it felt like they were mainly used to give exposition for why things are happening in Hollow Earth and to explain what could happen. Dan Stevens as Trapper, who takes care of Kong when he’s hurt, was easily the best and most enjoyable human character in the movie. Brian Tyree Henry returns as Bernie Hayes, who is still trying to share his experience with these Titans, and his dynamic with Trapper was fun.


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire still has a runtime problem. For a movie that has a lot happening, it’s still less than two hours. Certain scenes feel rushed and don’t give the audience time to process them. For example, in a minor spoiler alert, King Kong gets hurt after his first encounter with Skar King and Shimo, and right away, Trapper has a convenient way of healing him. Right away, Kong gets back into the action. The ending, while it has an exciting final battle, feels rushed after the fight and doesn’t address the damage caused by Godzilla and Kong taking down the other Titans.


Overall, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire was the most enjoyable MonsterVerse movie so far. The action is fun, and the setting of Hollow Earth was cool to explore. The human characters don’t get annoying and have enjoyable moments. King Kong is the star of the movie and doesn’t feel wasted. Godzilla still only gets a small amount of screen time. Skar King is one of the better antagonists in this movie. The movie could have been longer by at least an extra five to ten minutes to flesh out certain scenes better.


My final grade for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is a B. It’s a fun movie full of fun action that gives the monsters more screen time and makes Kong the focal point but feels rushed at times and still sidelines Godzilla. If you are a King Kong fan, you’re going to enjoy this one. Don’t go into this movie expecting it to be as good as Godzilla Minus One. What are your thoughts on Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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