Film Review: “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire”

  • Starring: Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry
  • Directed by: Adam Wingard
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 3 hrs 25 mins
  • Warner Bros.


This will date me, but when I was in grade school the teachers would sometimes give us a free Friday afternoon by showing us black and white films on a 35 mm projector. And sometimes, those films involved Godzilla, which everyone found mesmerizing even though the special effects were cheesy by today’s standards. My fascination with mega monster movies continues to this day. It was reenergized by the 2014 film “Godzilla,” which contained a terrific cast, good character development, and an entertaining story to go along with its visual effects. Several chapters later we have “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” which is the opposite of what I just wrote. With a few of the main characters returning from 2021’s “Godzilla vs Kong,” this newest incarnation is indicative of multiple series that may start out strong but quickly being to limp along with little to no redemptive value.


To be succinct, three years after the events of “Godzilla vs. Kong,” Godzilla lives on the Earth’s surface protecting humanity from other, not so nice mega monsters. Conversely, Kong lives in Hollow Earth, which allows for a sort of truce between the two. Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) becomes concerned when her adopted daughter, Jia (Kaylee Hottle), the last known member of the Iwi tribe from Skull Island, begins to have weird dreams and begins drawing three triangles. Meanwhile, the Monarch corporation begins noticing that Godzilla is preparing himself for something that is coming, presumably a big bad mega monster. It all leads to a Temple of Doom type discovery involving a prophecy and an angry, giant orangutan with a glowing crystal thing that controls a mega monster who spews freezing breath.


It has reached a point that the Godzilla movies moving forward should just forego having any human characters and just have the mega monsters in them. Kong especially can communicate everything we need and can do it better than the actors and actresses in the film. It would be more entertaining than the complete lack of anything resembling character development or arcs. Stylistically, “The New Empire” is crowd pleasing fun and the battles remind me of the ones I used to watch in black and white long ago. However, it’s not enough to keep this particular film from being almost ridiculous, which is not helped by a main antagonist who is almost laughable compared to Godzilla and Kong.


Overall, “Godzilla x Kong” may be good to munch popcorn along to but that’s about it.


“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” receives out of five.


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