Godzilla x Kong : The New Empire

March 29, 202440/1006 min
Starring
Dan Stevens, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Rachel House
Written by
Terry Rossio and Simon Barrett ( screenplay by/ story by), Jeremy Slater ( screenplay by), Adam Winged ( story by)
Directed by
Adam Wingard
Run Time
1h 55min
Release Date
March 29th, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

                 When it comes to Godzilla or King Kong, it doesn’t take a lot to get me to a theater to check out these classic titans, as I’m a sucker for giant monsters destroying things and punching each other. I’m simple like that because I’m not going into these movies to be emotionally moved; just give me monsters. Then, Godzilla Minus One came out, and after feasting on fast-food burgers for so long, the taste of something gourmet really makes you look at those fast-food burgers a lot differently. We know it’s not as good, but the question is, “is it still satisfying?”

It’s safe to say Godzilla is having quite a year; I mean, the guy won an Oscar finally. This dude isn’t resting on his laurels; no, instead, he’s out there kicking other monsters’ butts and, of course, causing headaches for major cities all over the world. Meanwhile, in Hollow Earth, Kong is dealing with boredom and a bad tooth as he explores his new home. Things, though, never stay calm with these two, as Monarch starts to detect a weird energy signal coming from Hollow Earth that needs to be investigated. That team includes Dr. Andrews (Rebecca Hall), Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry), Trapper (Dan Stevens), and another guy who you don’t need to worry about. They are not the only ones exploring; as Kong goes deeper into Hollow Earth, he discovers a whole tribe of big apes, led by one named Skar, so you know he can’t be nice. While this is happening, on the surface, Godzilla seems to be preparing for something as he is getting stronger. That something is going to be a battle, where monsters get punched, and once again, humanity is saved by the greatest tag team ever.

Written by the trio of Terry Rossio, Jeremy Slater, and Simon Barrett, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire continues with the story from the previous three U.S.-produced Godzilla films. This time it’s not so much about tracking the monsters but monitoring them instead. The script comes off as a lazy effort, feeling more like a requirement than someone wanting to put a story out there to be told. Unlike the last Kong vs. Godzilla movie, which had a story, this one feels like someone threw a bunch of thoughts and didn’t bother trying to decipher them. When we do get dialogue, it’s just exposition, often which our eyes have already told us. This is almost fine because hey, are we here for the talking or the smashing?

The New Empire is by far the worst adventure into the MonsterVerse, as it never finds solid ground. The first half of the movie is a mess, and while the second half does its best to save the movie, in this case, monsters fighting may not be enough. Godzilla Minus One showed that you can tell a human story with a monster bent on destruction, something that the MonsterVerse seems to not be able to properly balance. You care about none of the people in this movie, with really only Kong getting your sympathy, as everyone else, including Godzilla, are more functional to the plot rather than characters in an interesting narrative. The New Empire ultimately just can’t overcome its messy story, and unlike King of Monsters, there isn’t enough eye candy to make you not notice it. I do want more of the MonsterVerse, but this is one chapter in it that I never want to visit again.

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