Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Movie Review — Mindless fun with diminishing returns

I guess Mom was right: too much sugar really rots your teeth. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire serves up more of the same Titan-on-Titan destruction, but the franchise has come to a point when it just becomes noise.

With Godzilla doing Just Apex Predator Things on the surface and Kong spending his time in Hollow Earth (remember Hollow Earth?), all is relatively well with humanity. But Kong has grown weary of being alone, and so he searches for Titans of his kind. But what he finds is an ancient evil lurking in the deepest bowels of Hollow Earth, and even a team-up with Godzilla may not be enough to stop it!

Those looking for monster mayhem are in luck: Godzilla x Kong has destruction aplenty. Godzilla stomps through different titanic monsters and major world landmarks with animalistic glee. The same glee director Adam Wingard has with showing everything man has built come tumbling down in a haze of rock and ash. I'm surprised humanity is okay with rebuilding every couple of months, but I get it — when a Titan comes a-calling on your city, there's no way it'll be standing in one piece after it's done.

Surprisingly, the Big G isn't really the focus here. Godzilla x Kong spends a majority of the 2-hour runtime tailing Kong in Hollow Earth as he slowly pieces together the origins of his species and going apeshit on all comers along the way. It's still terribly exciting and watching Kong curbstomp apes his size is awesome to watch on the big screen, but those of you expecting equal exposure may go home disappointed.

Same for those expecting the same care for human scenes. To be fair, humans not doing much is a hallmark of the franchise already, but it's more egregious here. Award-worthy actors like Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry are relegated to reacting slack-jawed to things happening off-screen with frustrating frequency. Even Kaylee Hottle is left dumbly running around as more interesting things happen around her. Newcomer to the franchise Dan Stevens looked like the only one having fun in this whole outfit, at least.

To be honest, I checked out halfway through the stuff about ancient civilizations and even more ancient prophecies that conveniently involve Godzilla and Kong. The lazy plot is simply the bridge the movie has to traverse to get the final fight, and it's just as awesome as you'd expect. Godzilla and Kong face off against the Skar King in tons of building-demolishing set pieces and balletic displays of power. There's something inherently primal about wanting to see monsters the size of mountains fight each other, and my monkey brain was entertained by the absolute mayhem presented to me.

But in the middle of the 50th time a tail or fist leveled a building, I was hoping there was something more to it. I had fun, but I have a feeling Monsterverse fans and fans of monster destruction in general will be having more fun than me.

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