Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire

Warner Brothers Pictures

Written by Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett and Jeremy Slater

Directed by Adam Wingard

Starring Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle, Alex Ferns, Fala Chen, Rachel House, Ron Smyck, Chantelle Jamieson, Greg Hatton, Kevin Copeland and Tess Dobre

Rated PG-13

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

Godzilla and Kong are back with a new adventure that will force the pair to work together to take on a dangerous foe with a plan for the surface world.

Adam Wingard returns to direct this sequel that sees the world continuing to live with the existence of giant titans while Kong continues his existence in hollow Earth. Kong is one of the main focuses of the story as he finds himself getting older and finding no sense of community among the often hostile denizens of hollow earth. When a strange signal attracts both Kong and agents of Monarch on the surface, the giant ape goes on a trek deeper into hollow Earth before finding a hostile band of giant apes being led by the mysterious Scar King.

At the same time, Monarch continues to monitor Godzilla and when the signal begins, the giant lizard goes full on beast mode and begin hunting and tracking other titans as well as siphoning nuclear power everywhere he can find it. When young Jia (Hottle) begins to feel the signal herself, her adopted mother Ilene (Hall) seeks out Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry) from the previous films as well as old flame Trapper (Stevens) to take a trek to hollow Earth to discover the source of the signal and how it is related to both Kong and Godzilla’s recent actions.

There are a lot of moving parts in the film, but it is also beautifully simple in its premise; giant creatures threatening the Earth forcing Kong and Godzilla to team up to wreck a lot of things and genuinely cause as much mayhem as possible with the humans along for the proverbial ride. I went into this film looking for exactly that and got exactly what I wanted.

There are some genuine themes of family and legacy throughout the film as Ilene struggles with possibly losing her daughter to a bigger purpose and Kong dealing with being alone until he discovers an ape society under the tyrannical boot of the Scar King. There are some funny moments with the character interactions, especially Trapper and everyone around him. Dan Stevens seems to be having fun with the character and that comes through on the screen. Brian Tyree Henry’s character Bernie feels wasted most of the time. I wanted to like his character more, but he stood out as almost everything that is wrong with social media wrapped in a character.

The action is the main draw of this film and it delivers on that a lot. There is massive destruction throughout the movie and the fight scenes are big, brutal and fun to watch. The film is light on story and there are some huge stretches of logic that would drive me insane if they were in any other kind of movie, but The New Empire works with these things because it doesn’t try to be more than it is and under Wingard’s direction, knows exactly what it’s trying to accomplish which is big, fun spectacle.

Godzilla Minus One gave us the dark horror Godzilla is supposed to illicit. The New Empire is a call back to the big, absurdist monster epics of the 60’s and 70’s filled with destruction, action and even a mini-Kong thrown in to give the ape an arc as a potential parent. The movie is big, loud and frankly just fun and that’s all I needed and wanted it to be.

Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire



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