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Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Written by Dan Barnett on 04 Apr 2024

Distributor Legendary • Certificate 12a • Price n/a

It's fair to say that the cards are stacked against Godzilla x Kong The New Empire. For starters the whole Monsterverse hasn't exactly been a winner, with only Kong Skull Island proving decent out of four films and a TV series (and even then Kong himself was the dullest thing in it). Plus the film is coming out hot on the heels of Godzilla Minus One, one of the greatest films of 2023 let alone the Godzilla franchise. So can this film salvage the Monsterverse?

Some years after the events of Godzilla Vs Kong the world is taking a pretty laid back approach to the titans. Kong now lives in Hollow Earth whilst Godzilla roams the surface along with a dozen other titans,  occasionally throwing them through a few cities when they get uppity. Things start taking a turn for the worse however when a mysterious signal sends Godzilla on a rampage whilst Kong discovers a whole society of giant chimpanzees and their gorilla slaves. Meanwhile the human cast wander around hollow earth looking for the source of the signal and exploring the dangerous region.

The plot of Godzilla x Kong: Adam Wingaard Just Wants To Make A Documentary About Chimps, is as you can tell, a bit of a mess. In fact it feels like at least three films have been Frankensteined together to try and hide the fact that the filmmakers are just totally out of ideas. 

Despite being in the title and having all the best action moments, Godzilla is barely in the film (his introduction even seems to be the climax of a different, more interesting film). Kong spends half his time wandering around with a baby chimp who manages to be every bit as annoying as the precocious child character from any 90's movie despite not talking, and he and all the other apes have been elevated to basically human-level intelligence which just makes them so much less interesting (look out for the next film when Kong sits down to do his taxes). The allegory of the chimps enslaving the gorillas isn’t exactly subtle either. The human characters are dull as dishwater and the writing overall is just…so…lazy in ways I can’t really mention without giving away spoilers.

On the positive side the film does at least make a solid effort to highlight ASL in a positive way and Godzilla and Kong look good when they’re on screen (which is more than can be said for the other monsters) and some of the fight scenes have some decent weight to them. Thats… not very much is it? Godzilla using the Colosseum as a giant cat basket was cute?

Whatever the film was going for, it doesn’t feel like it managed it. Its a very light, very fluffy film that passes a couple of hours but is ultimately so forgettable that two hours after seeing it I was genuinely surprised to realise that I’d been to the cinema that day. Feel free to give this a miss and go watch Minus One again instead.



A monster miss

Dan Barnett
About Dan Barnett

Dan first encountered anime at the ripe old age of six with a VHS copy of Laputa. Ten years later he re-discovered it in Robotech and overnight a DVD collection was born.


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