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Film Review: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Title: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Director(s): Adam Wingard

Screenwriter(s): Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett, Jeremy Slater

Studio: Legendary Pictures

Released: 2024

Runtime: 1h 55m

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


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Set a few years after the previous film Godzilla vs Kong (2021), this film is what one expects it to be: another simple monster-fest.


Kong is still searching for his kind in Hollow Earth. He goes deeper and deeper and indeed finds more primates. Meanwhile, Dr Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) is still working for Monarch whilst Jia (Kaylee Hottle) is distracted at school, sensing something. Godzilla on the surface is on the move, presumably sensing whatever “signal” Jia is sensing.


At less than two hours, it’s a tight film with decent pacing. It might seem unfocused to some in the opening act since the three parties involved are doing their own thing. Only Godzilla (presumably) knows what he is doing but he is not the viewpoint character. The humans and Kong are the viewpoint characters so the audience only knows what they know.


The minor characters are basically comic relief and filler. Dan Stevens is Trapper the Monarch’s titan vet and Brian Tyree Henry returns as Bernie. They do well but, as expected, the writing can better make use of their talents.


Whilst I appreciate such a character as Bernie and Henry’s performance, it’s so obvious it’s painting “conspiracy theorists” in a negative way. Also, the way he is dragged into this story feels too contrived. It’s not that it is nonsense, but the execution can be better.


The visual effects are good or as good as expected given what is seen in the films so far. Whilst I understand the need for some stylization, I don’t think the neon styling is that fitting for the genre. Thankfully, given the locations, it is not taken as far as what is shown in Godzilla vs Kong, which makes Hong Kong look like… well, totally not Hong Kong.


Ultimately, as one already knows from the teasers and trailers (because they give away too much nowadays), Kong needs to take out a titan primate with the help of Godzilla who spends much of the film collecting power-ups and trying to find the Quad Damage.

 

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