'Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire' review: Monstrously fun monster mashup


If you’re looking for a movie with lots of giant monsters fighting each other, then 'Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire' is the one for you. — Photos: Warner Bros Malaysia

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Director: Adam Wingard
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle, Alex Ferns, Fala Chen

Five movies in, the MonsterVerse finally delivers its most satisfying film yet in terms of monster-on-monster action.

If all you ever wanted from a Godzilla and Kong movie was epic kaiju, monster, giant ape battles, then Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire (GXK) is the movie for you. (If instead you’re a fan of puny humans running around trying to save themselves, too bad).

In 2021’s Godzilla Vs Kong, the two titular Titans joined forces to defeat the manmade threat Mechagodzilla, after which Kong went to live in Hollow Earth while Godzilla stuck around on the surface, snuffing out any remaining Titan that dared show its face on Earth.

However, a new threat is emerging from deep beneath Hollow Earth, one that threatens the surface world as well, and thus the two reluctant allies will have to work together again in order to stop it.

Little known Godzilla fact: the Titan is actually a huge fan of 'Barbie'. Little known Godzilla fact: the Titan is actually a huge fan of 'Barbie'.

While they spend most of the movie doing their own thing (Kong is busy exploring a new subterranean realm under Hollow Earth, while Godzilla basically goes on one massive food binge round the planet), things REALLY heat up when the two titular Titans eventually meet.

The thrill of Godzilla and Kong joining forces once more is literally more earth-shattering this time around compared to their reluctant cooperation in GVK – their first meeting is an epic showdown in Egypt, in which we are treated to a cool shot of Godzilla swan-diving off the Rock Of Gibraltar while Kong awaits him atop a pyramid.

Director Alex Wingard has no doubt who the real stars of the movie are, and largely allows the Titans to do their thing without interference from the humans. Sure, we get scenes of people running away a lot, but Wingard wisely keeps the humans out of the frame most of the time when the fights are going on.

Kong probably prefers Oppenheimer though.Kong probably prefers Oppenheimer though.

But in case you ARE interested in the human side of things, well, the international organisation called Monarch is still calling the shots when it comes to the Titan affairs on Earth, though in the face of all that kaiju might, all they can do is ‘monitor’ the situation.

The main cast from Godzilla Vs. Kong is also back, namely, Monarch chief scientists Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and her deaf adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the last living member of Skull Island’s Iwi tribe; Titan veterinarian Trapper (Dan Stevens); and annoying conspiracy theorist Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry).

However, their contribution to the cause is largely to move things along and provide lengthy expositions for the parts of the plots that can’t be explained via ape grunts and kaiju roars. And although she’s got a pretty major part in the movie, former TVB actress Fala Chen doesn’t even have a single line of dialogue.

We may not do much in this movie, but at least we still get to do the 'slow walk down the corridor' scene.We may not do much in this movie, but at least we still get to do the 'slow walk down the corridor' scene.

Some of my biggest gripes about the older MonsterVerse movies was they spent too much time on what the human characters were doing rather than the monsters themselves, so the sidelining of the human characters in GXK is fine by me. Plus, this leaves more room for more giant-sized kaiju battles.

And what battles they were. Separately, Godzilla and Kong take on at least three or four other Titans each, and we get to see these Titans in action in full-sized glory (though some of those fights take place off screen), which is a change from some of the blurry, close-up, fast edits we used to get in the past movies.

The Annual Kaiju Marathon was quite the earth-shaking event.The Annual Kaiju Marathon was quite the earth-shaking event.

The climatic battle is the real payoff – a super-sized, gargantuan smackdown between four titans that starts out with a ludicrously outlandish gravity-less fight in midair, and ends with the mother of all kaiju fights that pretty much levels the entire city of Rio De Janeiro.

GXK is a movie about giant monsters fighting each other. It is as simple as that. If you’re looking for meaningful tales of human survival in the face of monstrous creatures, then you’re watching the wrong movie.

But if all you want out of a Godzilla and Kong movie is plenty of scenes of Godzilla and Kong fighting other giant monsters, then you’re going to have a massive amount of fun with this one.

7.5 10

Summary:

One for those who just want giant monsters fighting each other a lot.

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