April 22, 2024

GODZILLA x KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE (2024) – An EPIC addition to the franchise!

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

One cannot be blamed for approaching this latest installment to the MonsterVerse franchise, with some amount of apprehension and reserve. Afterall the last entry, Godzilla vs Kong was a bit of a mess and disappointment. So, I went in or this expecting the worst, and I was pleasantly rewarded with rather well-made follow-up that zeroes in on what matters the most in these movies … some cool monster-sized action and mayhem!

“G x K” takes off where “G vs K” left which is with Kong peacefully living in the hidden Hollow Earth at the center of our planet, and Godzilla taking up residency on earth to fight off any other prehistoric monsters that may have made their way up to earth from Hollow Earth. This arrangement seems to work in preventing the two egoistic monsters from fighting each other as they somehow cannot accept a world with more than one dominant titan. Naturally this peace is not sustained for long before a new crisis begin to manifest from Hollow Earth. Kong discovers a colony of his own kind deep inside the unknown territory of Hollow Earth, that seem to be enslaved by a tyrannical head ape, Skar King, who holds a trump card in the form of total control over a godzilla style monster named Shimu. Shimu’s power is his ability to spew a deadly ray of freezing ice from its mouth as opposed to the atomic fire breathing Godzilla.

There are some returning characters from the last film, namely Rebecca Hall as Monach linguist with her adopted daughter played by Kaylee Hottle. Dan Stevens plays new character Trapper who seems to be some sort of veterinarian for monsters! Frankly the human characters are not important in these films and merely a distraction and at best an obligatory necessity to hold the thin plot together to provide the landscape for the monsters to exist and fight. Director Adam Wingard who also directed Godzilla vs Kong before this, seem to have gotten it mostly right this time by giving the monsters far more screentime than the humans. The monster fight scenes are also better choreographed this time. Right from the opening scenes, we are treated with some eye-popping dizzying visuals which looked even more awesome on the giant IMAX screen. I especially liked the long sequences involving Kong and his discovery of the ape community, and subsequent interaction with a “mini Kong”. These scenes came across as engaging and worked without any human dialouge, relying purely on the body language. While Kong seem to have more of a presence, Godzilla had its fun moments too with some blatantly destructive monster mayhem scenes taking place in Rome, France, and Brazil.

Godzilla x Kong is undeniably silly and makes little sense, but it does the one thing well that the audience want, which is the monster action. It is truly bigger and better this time around, and will be a hard act to follow should there, heaven forbid, be further additions to this franchise.

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