Godzilla × Kong: The New Empire – Film Review

It appears that, like myself, millions of individuals derive pleasure from the destruction of skyscraper-rich cities wrought by the colossal creatures. Legendary and Warner continue to capitalize on this fascination and intrigue. With the success of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, released on Apple+, the MonsterVerse seems poised to expand both on small and silver screens. Credit must be given where it’s due. The MonsterVerse, accompanied by the likes of Godzilla, Kong, and various other Kaiju, offers some of the most enjoyable spectacles to be witnessed on IMAX screens. Despite my enthusiasm for this universe, I regret to admit that I cannot offer glowing praise for the latest film, Godzilla × Kong: The New Empire. While the enjoyment factor remains intact, comparative analysis reveals it to be the weakest link in the series thus far.

Briefly delving into its premise… Kong, following signals emanating from the depths of Hollow Earth, ventures into the uncharted depths of the upside-down universe, encountering a relentless adversary within written in old legends. Trapped in its confines, this adversary seeks to escape and reach the world using Kong and his allies. However, another legend awaits it in the world: Godzilla.

Initiated by the 2014 film directed by Gareth Edwards, the MonsterVerse has progressed superbly with each subsequent film. Introducing new characters with each installment, we have consistently encountered adversaries more powerful and fearsome than the last. Unfortunately, this is where Godzilla × Kong: The New Empire falls short. The weakness of the new villain compared to its predecessors is glaring. Compared to Ghidorah or Mechagodzilla, Skar King unfortunately lacks the capacity for confrontation. Its impact diminishes significantly without the support of the imprisoned Shimo.

I always say the same thing about films with antagonists: A good villain makes a film successful. Unfortunately, the film falters in this regard. However, up until the introduction of Skar King, the film offers a journey steeped in mystery and curiosity. The discovery of a new universe unknown even to our Titans, the secrets within, and our ignorance of the potential danger are skillfully portrayed until the encounter with Skar King. However, the film loses some of its excitement thereafter. This is because the main antagonist fails to make the necessary impact from the moment of its introduction, unable to transcend being merely an anarchic rebel.

The screenwriters must have been aware of the inadequacy of the antagonist character, hence their decision to design the film in a more chaotic manner compared to its predecessors. They have shifted the focus away from the villain and onto the surroundings. Godzilla and Kong films are typically spectacles of destruction set on the surface of the Earth, pushing the limits of physical laws. However, this time, they haven’t just brought Godzilla down to Hollow Earth; they’ve also created a chaotic, insane scenario with their gravity-defying environment, resulting in a dizzying, almost incomprehensible melee where everyone is fighting each other, leaving viewers at a point of saying, “What am I even watching?”

Despite Godzilla × Kong: The New Empire being weaker than its predecessors, it still contains destruction sequences that will satisfy many viewers. Rome, Rio de Janeiro, and Cairo are all laid to waste. From the perspective of the MonsterVerse logic, almost all major cities on Earth have been destroyed by Godzilla and his enemies. Having wreaked enough havoc on the surface, they decide to wreak havoc underground this time, descending into Hollow Earth.

I must admit that I’m biased towards any film featuring Rebecca Hall, so I’m tempering my criticisms. The film follows the classic blockbuster formula of having a serious character, a character to save the day, and a side character who constantly cracks jokes. This formula has persisted for years. Adam Wingard also does justice to blockbuster cinema by delivering visually appealing work. However, such films do not suffer from both acting and visual issues. Many of them are just mediocre attempts to polish weak scripts. What sets Godzilla × Kong: The New Empire apart from these mediocre works is its possession of a Godzilla who looks good in pink and a Kong with gloves.

In essence… Godzilla × Kong: The New Empire, while enjoyable to watch, is the weakest link in the series so far. The main reason is the inadequacy of the main antagonist. Their inability to live up to the expected spectacle of destruction, moving the action to Hollow Earth and completely disregarding the laws of physics, undermines the universe’s established rules. Given that the giant creatures themselves are already the films’ most illogical aspect, adding even more illogical sequences harms both the story and the universe. Despite these flaws, the film is still quite enjoyable, especially on IMAX screens. Just seeing Godzilla curl up like a cat in the Colosseum is reason enough to go see it.

Cast & Crew

director: Adam Wingard

writers: Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett, Jeremy Slater, Adam Wingard

starring: Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle

USA | 2024 | 115 MINUTES |


Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *