The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Review | ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ is mind-numbing, monster sized fun

Photo Courtesy of IMDb

Rating: 6/10


“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is the newest entry in Warner Bros.’ and Legendary’s “Monsterverse” franchise and a direct sequel to 2021’s “Godzilla vs. Kong” directed by Adam Wingard.

Unlike some of the Japanese-produced entries of the “Godzilla” franchise by Toho, the “Monsterverse” franchise takes itself much less seriously, aiming simply to entertain the audience. 

The film oversees three major storylines — Kong finding his home, Godzilla absorbing power to fight an imminent threat and the human characters going into the hollow earth to investigate an apparent distress call.

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These storylines fight over the spotlight over the first hour of the film, which causes the movie to feel extremely cluttered as it tries to piece everything together in the second half. 

What this movie does better than “Godzilla vs. Kong” is it takes itself less seriously and embraces the sillier side of both characters.

The greatest thing that “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” has going for it is that it’s reminiscent of the clumsier moments of Godzilla’s Shōwa era, such as “Godzilla vs Megalon,” “Invasion of Astro Monster” and, of course, “King Kong vs. Godzilla.”

This might sound like a hindrance for the film, but in the case of this movie, it acts as more of a benefit, as the overall premise boils down to a giant lizard and monkey banding together to fight another giant lizard and monkey.

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” also benefits from the fact that it spends more time on the monsters instead of trying to force the humans’ story into the plot — at least for the most part.

While the human side of the plot is still very contrived and tackled almost out of nowhere, the movie learns to balance the screen time of both the humans and the monsters.

The film is a Kong story at heart, as the majority is spent with Kong finding others like himself. As a result of this, Godzilla feels underutilized, leaving him to appear alongside Kong in the final act of the film.

The severe lack of Godzilla almost makes you feel cheated on. In an interview with Empire, Wingard stated “The buddy-cop dysfunctional relationship dynamic is probably the best one to describe Godzilla and Kong.”

It’s a shame there wasn’t much interaction between the two monsters, as the film is at its best when the duo finally team up to stop the villains of the film, Skar King and Shimo.

The addition of the two adds a nice variety in villains, seeing as they are almost reflections of both Kong and Godzilla respectively. Skar King aims to control the surface land to gain power, while Shimo is forced to use her ice power for Skar King’s benefit.

Following the braindead dialogue in “Godzilla vs. Kong,” it could be argued that expectations were low for the quality of lines the humans would have in this film. However, the movie surpasses all of these expectations, even if it’s by a slight margin.

The dialogue between all of the human characters still has a level of cheesiness that can make the movie a struggle to listen to. However, since the tone of the film is far lighter than previous entries, the dialogue fits in.

This is mainly apparent with the character of Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry), whose quirky and eccentric nature from “Godzilla vs. Kong” gets dialed up to a whole new level, causing him to be a little annoying for many of the scenes he’s in.

Henry definitely sells the role, but the film’s writing makes him suffer from a lack of personality as he’s stuck as mainly being the “comic relief” character.

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” doesn’t break new ground in sci-fi kaiju films, but it adopts most of the charm and characteristics that older entries of both the “Godzilla” and “King Kong” franchises are occasionally known for.

However, the questionable story setup and laughably cheesy dialogue make this movie a struggle at times to sit through. When looking past these setbacks, “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is an entertaining blockbuster flick where you can just turn your brain off and have fun.


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