Godzilla x Kong – The New Empire – REVIEW

Godzilla x Kong - - Let's get ready to rumble!!!!

After the $470m box office success of the Godzilla v Kong mash up the monster verse continues with this sequel somewhat awkwardly titled ‘Godzilla x Kong : The New Empire’ and we‘re taken straight into the action with a sequence that sees him end up with a sore tooth. It’s a cue for the introduction of new character Trapper (a Hawaiian shirted Dan Stevens), a kind of dentist / vet who performs the sort of dental care that suggests he’s been struck off the register

Returning to the franchise is Dr Ilena Andrews (Rebecca Hall) along with her adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle) who is experiencing traumatic visions that manifest themselves as drawing that will never find their way onto her mother’s fridge door. So Andrews calls on the help of blogger and Monarch conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry).  who interprets Jai’s experiences as a distress signal. With Godzilla having a bit of lie down curled up in Rome’s Colesseum the group take a deep dive with Kong into Hollow Earth ( which despite being subterranean still inexplicably seems to be brightly illuminated) to get to the bottom of it all and that’s where the trouble really begins because what they find is a threat that should it get to the surface puts the world in danger.

This second film is very much Kong’s film with Godzilla very much playing second fiddle to the monkey madness that ensues and the pair still have an animosity towards each other uniting only to defeat the common foe. The human cast are reduced to exposition whereas the spectacle is left to the monster punch ups. The cast of creatures has been expanded significantly and led by the Scar King, a giant gangly ginger ape with moth eaten fur and armed with a sharp tipped whip and an icy breathed monster. But there’s a bit of levity with bug eyed ginger baby ape – the sort of look that only a mother could love although it was clearly too much even for his mum who’s nowhere to be seen and Kong becomes a kind of adoptive father – although there is an early sequence where Kong uses the pop eyed red head as a weapon that has the possibility of even raising an eyebrow with Islington social services.

Like the Transformers franchise this has the familiar city levelling fights that must have population rolling their eyes in resignation and builders rubbing their hands with glee and with Kong wearing an iron gauntlet perhaps a MechaGodzilla is his destiny. At almost two hours much of this is a monster mash up with Kong battling all and sundry and Godzilla dropping in when most needed with his breath that would have a garlic chugging Frenchman recoiling.

The recent Godzilla Minus One showed how a modern day Godzilla is done quite brilliantly but Godzilla x Kong is a far different beast and is very much a Hollywood product – a brightly lit CGI fest akin to a video game that’s ideally suited for IMAX but ultimately with little beyond the spectacle.

End credit scene? : No

related feature : Godzilla & Kong invade London for the Godzilla x Kong The New Empire premiere

related feature : Godzilla Minus One – REVIEW

related feature : Godzilla King of the Monsters – London premiere with Millie Bobby Brown

Here’s the Godzilla x Kong – The New Empire …….


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