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“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” Review

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is currently playing in theatres. The movie is PG-13 and runs an hour and 55 minutes. Movie poster from Warner Bros. Pictures

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” was released on March 29, 2024. This comes three years after the previous installment in the Monsterverse franchise, “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which came out on March 31, 2021. I personally really liked 2021’s “Godzilla vs. Kong,” and with this new installment, we see the two titular characters team up this time instead of fighting each other.

I liked “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” much more than the first. It felt truly like a sequel in a franchise. The scale was bigger, there were new characters, and there was more action. There were multiple new characters categorized as Kaiju in this movie, for example, Godzilla and Kong, along with others like the movie’s villain, Skar King. I found this cool because I enjoy seeing giant monsters fight on a theater screen.

Another positive of the movie was the comedy. Bernie Hayes. played by Brian Tyree Henry, was the funniest character in the movie to me. He was a very paranoid influencer continuing his role from the previous installment. His character was a standout and made the human storyline of this movie a lot more entertaining and interesting. There were also times when the comedy would come from the monsters themselves, whether it was while they were fighting or just actions that they did.

The villain in this movie was really cool. In “Godzilla vs. Kong” the true villain was Mechagodzilla, a robotic clone of Godzilla. In this movie, Skar King was like an inverse of King Kong in the same way that Mechagodzilla was an inverse of Godzilla. I found this cool because now they have both teamed up to fight an evil version of themselves. Skar King was also a really cool villain because he had a whip or chain he used that was made out of a skeleton, especially when he used it to throw buildings and other sorts.

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By far, the best part of “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” was the action scenes. Any time there was an action scene, whether the final fight or a build-up scene during the middle of the movie, I was always on the edge of my seat. There was a point in this movie where King Kong was fighting the group of orangutans that worked for Skar King, and he used one of them as a weapon to fight the others, dragging him around. The final fight was amazing seeing all of the Kaijus team up and fight against one another and the powers they had and used were cool.

Another highlight of the movie was the visual effects (VFX). VFX were used a lot during the movie. The characters of Kong and Godzilla themselves are made with VFX and so was a lot of the setting. But, they all looked really smooth, and the fictional location, Hollow Earth, looked really cool, just as it did in the previous movie as well.

The settings and cinematography in “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” were really good at times, and were okay at others. Especially while the movie was set in Hollow Earth, the scenes looked amazing. The color grading matched the tone of the world almost as if it was “Jurassic Park” because the setting seemed similar to one another. A remote location that is full of green and species of animals that are not found in the wild. On the other hand, some settings like the Egypt Pyramids felt very lackluster and were boring to watch because of the color grading. It did not fit the tone that the movie was going for in scenes like these, which were a slight negative.

This movie was very much intended to have a target audience of families. Similar to the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie, there was nothing cinematically striking to me. The story was basic, but that is okay because it was entertaining. Every once in a while it is fun to just watch a movie that I know isn’t going to be a top 10 movie of all time, but knowing that I willl enjoy it for what it is.

Sadly, this movie was not perfect. One negative I had was that there was too much rising action in the movie. It spent too much time building up to the final fight, and not enough time with the monsters before that. The fights leading up to the finale were all significantly shorter and felt lacking. While I still found them entertaining, there was something about them that made the movie feel like it was dragging just to have a slightly longer runtime.

Another negative I had was the human storyline. I personally do not go into a King Kong movie looking forward to watching the humans. I get that they have to include them for dialogue and character development purposes, but to me, it felt like 70 percent of the movie was all humans. This might not have been a problem if their storyline was interesting, but I could not get behind it. I found myself not paying as close attention to the scenes focused on the human characters, and was only really paying attention to the scenes with King Kong and Godzilla.

Overall, “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” was an enjoyable and entertaining family movie, which scores 3.5/5 stars from me.

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Nolan McNulty
Nolan McNulty, Staff Reporter
Nolan McNulty is a junior at Ankeny High School. In his free time, Nolan likes to hang out with his friends and family, watch movies, and lift weights. He plans on going to the University of Iowa after high school. A fun fact about Nolan is that he enjoys listening to rap music.
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