Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire Review

There aren’t many characters that have as long a life onscreen as King Kong and Godzilla. Both
of these titanic characters have been here on and off now for decades, with their latest
appearances being in the blockbuster franchise from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures,
known as the MonsterVerse, the most recent entry in which is ‘Godzilla X Kong: The New

Warner Bros. Pictures

The story follows Kong who’s now living in Hollow Earth after its discovery in the last movie. He
believes he’s the apex predator there, but soon meets with a new challenge in the form of a
giant ape known as the Scar King, who controls Shimo, a titan with the power of ice. With no
hope of defeating them on his own, Kong lures Godzilla down into the Hollow Earth where the
two can team up to defeat this new threat.

There’s something outlandish and over the top in the very premise of these movies, especially
now that the idea of a Hollow Earth has been opened up. Being forced to share the world with
these city-destroying titans was bad enough, but now there’s an entire ecosystem thriving just
below the surface of the planet which could expand upwards at any moment. They’ve firmly
embraced their pulpy origins and this film increases everything to the max, barely clinging on to

Warner Bros. Pictures

The movie has everything you’d expect from an entry in the MonsterVerse. There’s big action,
advanced tech, giant monsters, and at least one major city suffers significant destruction (they
even manage to demolish the pyramids). The story is simple enough, too, mainly focussing on
Kong as he settles into his new home in Hollow Earth and asserts his dominance there. It
hinges a lot on convenience and coincidence to make everything happen but it’s an
improvement over ‘Godzilla vs Kong’, not being dragged down by any side stories, and with
most of the action taking place in Hollow Earth, there’s a chance to explore this place more,
showing us the kind of creatures that live there. In some ways, the film goes more towards
fantasy than sci-fi, featuring psychic connections between characters and with a certain
anthropomorphising of Godzilla and Kong that feels unnatural.

Warner Bros. Pictures

The effects are still good, and there are enough new monsters included to make it interesting,
and more of them have to give emotional performances than before, particularly in the case of
the apes. This is the standout element of the movie, and it’s clear there’s been a lot of effort put
into bringing these creatures to the screen.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Where the film suffers most is in its human characters. They really don’t have anything to do
here, and are mainly used as narrators to fill in the exposition that the monsters can’t provide,
following Kong around without influencing the plot much. Dan Stevens is a good choice for his
role as the wacky vet Trapper, and Rebecca Hall, Kaylee Hottle and Brian Tyree Henry return
as their characters from ‘Godzilla vs Kong’, but none of them have any arcs or development to
speak of. It’s a shame, as there’s some good performances here, and the first couple of entries

in the franchise did a decent job of providing relatable characters who were integral to the plot.
In this film, there’s more focus on the character of Kong, which can only go so far if he’s not
backed up by good human characters to provide some substance.

Warner Bros. Pictures

In all, ‘Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire’ is an improvement over its predecessor, though it still
falls fair and square in the category of big, dumb monster flick, not giving you much to think
about. Its story is nothing special, but it has the kind of visuals you’d expect, and if you’re
looking for a couple of hours of unchallenging popcorn entertainment, then it’s here by the

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