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'GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE' REVIEW

BY SEB JENKINS MARCH 28, 2024
Godzilla x Kong

Enemies become friends once more as Godzilla and King Kong team up for a rumble in the upside-down jungle.

Three years on from Godzilla vs Kong, the Kings of the respective monsters and apes are back on the big screen once more for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Is the x silent? Are you meant to pronounce it? Or does it actually represent a little kiss between beasts? The answer is, don’t worry about it. In fact, that’s the theme of Godzilla x Kong altogether - don’t worry about it. Strap yourselves in for two hours of nonsensical, beautifully unserious, visually stunning storytelling at its barmy best.


SYNOPSIS

Godzilla and the almighty Kong face a colossal threat hidden deep within the planet, challenging their very existence and the survival of the human race.



REVIEW

The scene is set in the latest addition to the Monsterverse as we are reintroduced to Kong, roaming his hunting grounds in Hollow Earth and taking a fair few showers along the way. Myleene Klass moment, eat your heart out. Godzilla, meanwhile, has taken it upon himself to serve as the protector of surface Earth – in the same way that a wrecking ball is a protector of dry walls. In reality, the giant lizard monster appears to flatten more humans than he saves, while using the Rome Colosseum as his very own cat bed.


If Godzilla x Kong is proof of one thing, it’s that our monster friends are nothing more than tourists at heart. They simply will not get out of bed for a good old beasty battle unless it takes place next to some kind of wonder of the world. Shooting an atomic heat beam at a giant crab in the middle of Rome. Stomping through the Great Pyramid of Giza like a sugar-crazed toddler with a hatred for Jenga. Even the final boss battle takes place under the watchful eye of Christ the Redeemer!


Godzilla x Kong

In truth, that’s the best thing about Godzilla x Kong; it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has a sense of self-awareness that some of the Monsterverse movies have lacked in the past, and that makes it more enjoyable than ever. One of the common criticisms of Godzilla vs Kong was the wasted time on character story development, as if we have come to the cinema to watch these puny humans. Godzilla x Kong uses the humans as a source of narration and comic relief, nothing more.


Dr Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) and Jia (Kaylee Hottle) drive the storyline just enough to keep the film on the rails, but haphazardly enough that it could (and does) fly off at any moment. Meanwhile, Brian Tyree Henry and Dan Stevens are cast perfectly in the roles of Bernie and Trapper to earn the odd laugh between lizard lasers and monkey punches.

Adam Wingard and co put the focus firmly on the monsters this time around, with at least a half dozen big-screen fights crammed into the 115-minute runtime. Perhaps the only criticism is that the final fight scene doesn’t quite live up to the suspense but when you get to see King Kong RKO Godzilla in the middle of Egypt, can you really complain? Perhaps a Dune 3 cameo is on the cards?


Godzilla x Kong

If you want to see a film that will make you cry, Godzilla x Kong is not for you. If you want to see a movie that provokes thought and contemplation, the Monsterverse should not serve as your port of call. But if you want to see King Kong use a baby monkey as a nun chuck to beat up three evil apes, your seat awaits.


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is beautifully unserious and monstrously entertaining. And sometimes, that’s really all you need.


STAR RATING

Rating Godzilla x Kong

GODZILL X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE RELEASES IN CINEMAS MARCH 29

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