Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire Film Review

'Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire' - Image © 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Since Japan introduced the world to Godzilla in 1954, it seems the world has become enamoured with the overgrown lizard.

Fast forward to 2024, and there have been no less than thirty-plus incarnations of this prehistoric monster. The Hollywood action sci-fi version first arrived in 2014, with the reboot receiving a solid 76 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, and enough fanfare to generate 'Godzilla: King Of The Monsters' followed by the introduction of another iconic sci-fi character, in King Kong.

The misunderstood gorilla also first hit screens nearly 100 years ago (yes, believe it or not) in 1933. It was only a matter of time before some movie genius decided to bring the two together, with 'Godzilla V Kong' hitting our screens in 2021. The follow-up is 'Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire'. Given the first one was epic – I mean really good – I was excited. I mean, what’s not to love about a monkey and lizard going at it radioactive style?

I have a simple criteria when I see films to decide if they’re good, average, or forgettable. The first is, did I fall asleep? Sounds dreadful I know, but would you believe it if I told you I slept through most of 'Evita'? The second is, did I have a physical reaction? I can tell you that at one point in 'Godzilla X Kong', I jumped out of my seat in fright. You know, in that way where you crap your pants and then feel incredibly embarrassed and hope nobody noticed. The third criterion for me is the music, and in this film, it rocked. The music felt referential to another franchise – 'Thor'. Every time Trapper, played by Dan Stevens, did something epic, an iconic rock song would play; think KISS’s 'I Was Made For Lovin’ You' and you get the vibe.

The fourth is, how was the acting? On that note, there were wins all around – with Kaylee Hottle returning in the role of Jia, Rebecca Hall as Ilene Andrews and filling out the ensemble Brian Tyree Henry as Bernie Hayes, bringing the comedy. Special mention goes to Alex Ferns who plays Mikael, a helicopter pilot with a death wish and some great one liners. The final from me comes for story. Look, I’m going to be honest, when I’m watching sci-fi I’m probably more interested in how good the special effects are, and in a work like 'Godzilla X Kong' you just know they’re going to be awesome, and they were indeed. The story however, let’s just say, no points from me. That said, it did finish exactly when I hoped it would. . . So in that way, it wasn’t too long, and gave us a classic hero’s journey.

This isn’t 'Dune'. It’s not 'Interstellar'. It’s not even 'Thor'. It’s Godzilla and Kong in the franchise we’ve come to love. It’s a sci-fi spectacular with special effects out the wazoo. If you’re into radioactive monsters going to war with each other and some story running around that, then this is the movie for you.

I thought it was great fun. The special effects rocked, Kong made me want give him a hug, Godzilla not so much, there was even a cheeky little monkey. I loved the music and I didn’t fall asleep. That, dear reader, gives this Hollywood blockbuster a solid four stars.


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