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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Rob Reviews "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire"

Adam Winegard is responsible for a film that is an exception to my “no horror flicks” rule in the smart and entertaining You’re Next back in 2011, so knowing he would be returning to the director’s chair for the second time with two huge cinematic icons had me intrigued.  So let’s get right to it and talk Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.


It's been a minute since the two monsters collided with the world in the balance, and they have agreed to their “neutral corners” with Godzilla hanging out on our level of the planet and Kong taking residence in Hollow Earth with our friends at Monarch making sure they stay as far away from each other as possible.  As we all know, if that stayed the status quo we wouldn’t have a movie, so when seismic spikes in Hollow Earth make their way to the surface, both of them react in completely different ways with Kong finding out he is not alone to Godzilla fueling a need for revenge.  Given that there is an “x” here and not a “v,” you may be able to draw your own conclusions as to where it goes from here.


Is this a bad film?  I cannot in good conscience say that it is, but I also cannot say that this is a great film either.  For me, this falls into the same trap (although not to the same degree with a couple of days to think on it) that the first Alien vs. Predator film does in that there is too much exposition to the human characters in the film (Rebecca Hall is always great as are Bryan Tyree Henry and Dan Stevens with Kaylee Hottle really taking over some of the scenes she is in as well), and for me I need to see less of them telling me what the monsters are doing and simply letting the monsters do those things themselves.


There is also a couple of things that I think could help the pacing in that department.  Telling the backstory of what is to come in the third act could have been better served as being told over the opening credits than smack dab in the middle of the second act.  Winegard does his best to use this as a tool to up the stakes and intensity, but it just left me wanting to yell “GET ON WITH IT!  LESS TALKIE MORE FIGHTIE!”.


Giving credit where credit is due, the last twenty minutes of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire DOES deliver in that department with a great final fight that had me fully engaged, but it seemed like it was also making up for some lost time.  There is some potential for some of the action sequences that led up to the climax to be just as cool to get my heart pumping that much faster as I awaited what was promised in all of the marketing materials, but they kind of got the “oh yeah, and this is a thing” treatment.  The IMAX treatment is impressive and ups the fun factor, but I would also love to compare and contrast that with other premium formats.


A spring release for this seems a bit early, but I also understand that taking Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire could have been a risky summer release with tentpole releases popping up almost weekly.  I still believe it could be one of those that you could take a group of friends to on a day off and just have some mindless fun.  Whether or not this is the end of the “MonsterVerse” is to be determined, but these characters pre-date even an old man like me, so I am sure they will be around in some form for years to come.

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