Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, the kings have returned

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Kong is back. As Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire opens Kong welcomes audiences to his world with a wry smile. He’s made Hollow Earth his home and has been searching for some remnants of his kind. Meanwhile, up top Godzilla is cleaning up the Kaiju mess constantly reminding everyone he is still ‘King of the Monsters’.

Everything is at peace until Kong goes too deep into the Hollow Earth and awakens an ancient evil that once threatened both Earth and Hollow Earth. Can Kong and Godzilla put their differences aside long enough to save the day?

Let them team up!

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the latest adventure in the MonsterVerse and it’s fine. The most interesting element is the Kaijus. Seeing them interact and clash is always enjoyable. Easily the best part of the Kaiju storyline is Kong’s. We’ve watched Kong grow up across three films and in this one, he’s tired of being alone.

He is desperate for a family, ultimately he just wants peace. Unfortunately, when he does find apes like him he clashes with an ancient orangutan Kaiju dubbed the ‘Scar King’. This ancient Kaiju is a sneering, crusty, and tyrannical despot. His design is reminiscent of the ape boss in Sekiro and it adds a malevolence to his whole presence.

Even though Kong still didn’t get top billing this is his story, and it is at its best when it’s all about him. He goes from loner, to mentor, to saviour and it’s told with no dialogue which is quite impressive.

That’s not Kong

While Kong is getting the lion’s share of the story, Godzilla is simply running and gunning. Taking out Kaijus left, right and centre. When it’s revealed why it’s interesting but I could be biased because I’m a fan of the radioactive lizard. Ultimately, Godzilla is a plot device in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which is a shame because there could have been so much more for him.

The worst part of the film though is, of course, the human characters. We have three returning characters and one new one and that’s it. This time around the cast is thankfully small. We have Rebecca Hall, Bryan Tyree Henry and Kayle Hottle returning with Dan Stevens making his debut. Hall and Hottle have a story about family and trying to find where you belong, which ties in with Kong’s story, but it’s not given enough time to feel impactful.

Stevens and Henry are given nothing to do except be comedy relief. Stevens is charming and has the incredible ability to bring in the soundtrack almost every time he’s on screen. Henry just screams out what is happening. It’s an old cliché and I’m tired of it now.

One of the biggest problems though is the large amounts of exposition being dumped periodically throughout the film. The pace of the film screeches to a halt and it never feels organic.

The score is decent with Junkie XL returning after his stint in Godzilla vs Kong. Unfortunately with all the mic drops with the soundtrack coming in, the score is drowned out. Also, if I’m being honest I still miss Bear McCreary.

Nonetheless, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has a lot of interesting concepts involving the Hollow Earth being utilized with Kaiju fights. To me this new empire is built on sand and it is one of the weaker entries in the MonsterVerse. For others though I believe it will scratch that itch for your Kaiju kink.

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