Home Reviews Movies/TV Reviews Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Review | Great Titans, Bad Story

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Review | Great Titans, Bad Story

Godzilla has had a significant resurgence in recent times. There have been a number of US-produced Godzilla films over the last decade, plus a few Japanese-produced films, including the highly respected Godzilla: Minus One. Now, the American films continue with the latest from Warner Bros, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

Like many franchises with a seemingly endless number of sequels, it may be time for WB to give Godzilla a rest for a bit. None of the WB films have been exceptional, with the best movie generally considered to be the first Godzilla from 2014, or King of the Monsters in 2019, but audiences barely saw Godzilla in the first film, and King of the Monsters was hampered by lackluster human elements.

Each subsequent WB Godzilla film has attempted to raise the stakes, and while the action sequences have improved, the human element and story beats have not. All of this culminates in New Empire, where Godzilla and Kong must team up to take down a new threat from Hollow Earth, the Skar King. While the action sequences are big and bold, the story has taken a big hit.

None of the WB Godzilla films have offered much in the way of story, even with the Monarch: Legacy of Monsters series adding more backstory to these affairs. New Empire follows this pattern, offering big action, but little to connect these set pieces. Almost every clash of the titans experience in the film is over the top. The visual effects are second to none, and the action is well-choreographed. Some of the fights are too short, almost cameo-like, but this allows for a few lesser known monsters to make appearances.

Adam Wingard, Brian Tyree Henry, Godzilla x Kong, Rebecca Hall

The problem is that the human aspect of the film, where the story elements come into play, almost feel like three or four different scripts chopped up and poorly stitched together. While Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) was comic relief in Godzilla vs. Kong, he’s been one-upped by Trapper (Dan Stevens), a new titan vet who has a big 80s vibe throughout the film.

Trapper is written as a very over the top comedic character, complete with 80s music booming throughout many of his scenes. It just doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the film. If this was a completely ridiculous Godzilla film that leaned into the cheese, Trapper would fit in perfectly, but much of New Empire is taken very seriously, making Trapper stick out like a sore thumb. Because of this, the tone of the film feels out of balance, jumping back and forth between serious monster battles, and 80s camp.

The pacing of the film also feels off. It bounces around between the surface world and Hollow Earth, with cheesy Trapper scenes interrupting epic titan battles. There’s enough titan action to keep audiences entertained, but it’s still a bit of a mess, offering very little outside of the monster bouts. Luckily, WB and Legendary Pictures know what audiences want, and New Empire mostly delivers on that.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire offers crowd-pleasing action sequences, but once again the main story, and almost all of the human elements fall short. The titan battles will keep you seated and entertained, but don’t think too much about why they’re fighting, or any of the broader story elements. The more thought you put into it, the more the plot starts to fall apart. Godzilla fans will still likely be pleased, but Minus One is the superior film by a wide margin.

About Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Synopsis: Two ancient titans, Godzilla and Kong, clash in an epic battle as humans unravel their intertwined origins and connection to Skull Island’s mysteries.

Director: Adam Wingard

Writers: Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett, Jeremy Slater

Stars: Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Hill, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1 Hour, 55 Minutes

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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