Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Review

Reviews Films


This week sees the release of the fifth instalment in the epic Monsterverse franchise – Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. This time around, we see Godzilla and Kong forced to unite against a formidable adversary emerging from Hollow Earth. This new threat not only questions the dominance of these titanic beings, but also jeopardises the fate of humanity. Promising higher stakes than ever before for both monsters and humans alike, this action-packed flick is hoping to dominate the box office and evolve the Monsterverse into a classic saga of the ages.

Before watching this new instalment, my partner and I tasked ourselves with binge-watching the entire Monsterverse series for the first time, starting with 2014’s Godzilla. The only film I had seen previously in the franchise was 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, which I loved! After viewing all five chapters in this saga, I believe it’s important to note that I’m not a huge fan of the franchise as a whole. While I’m a big King Kong fan and have loved every iteration of his story I’ve seen, these Godzilla Monsterverse films never seemed to strike the right balance between story and spectacle for me.

Though I do feel this film is the best of the bunch (excluding Kong: Skull Island of course), the heart of the film’s issues lies in its human characters. They often feel like unnecessary appendages to the plot, interrupting the monster mayhem with subplots that seem to meander rather than contribute meaningfully. I appreciate their attempts to expand the lore of this mystic story, but it ends up feeling like a rejected Power Rangers episode at times. Their presence frequently detracts from the high-stakes action, leaving me yearning for more colossal clashes and less meaningless human drama.

A surprising and disappointing element was that Godzilla, the “King of Monsters”, was massively underutilised – taking a backseat to King Kong who dominated the screen with the most compelling subplot. The filmmakers achieved something remarkable with Kong’s story, conveying a wealth of emotion and interesting narrative without a single line of dialogue in most of his scenes. Through an intricate language of gestures, expressions, and context clues, Kong’s story becomes the film’s emotional core, showcasing a level of storytelling finesse that is impressively emotional.

Despite these narrative imbalances, the film boasts the franchise’s best action sequences. The CGI is nothing short of incredible, rendering each monster brawl with painstaking detail and visceral energy, especially on the gigantic screen I experienced it on. When the action starts, be ready to be on the edge of your seat.

For fans of the Godzilla x Kong Monsterverse, this film is the best instalment yet, offering unparalleled action and a villain in Skar King who steals every scene he’s in. Skar King surfaces as the franchise’s most formidable and cunning antagonist yet, bringing a depth and gravitas that elevated the film’s conflict to new heights.

The secondary monsters, or Titans, introduced in this instalment, also deserve special mention for their creativity and the sheer cool-factor they bring to the monster roster. Their designs and roles in the film’s epic battles are highlights, showcasing the imaginative possibilities of the Monsterverse.

Yet, despite these strengths, the film may not win over new fans. As someone who appreciated the distinct style of Kong: Skull Island but remains lukewarm on the series as a whole, this latest entry, while technically impressive and narratively ambitious, doesn’t fully reconcile the series’ ongoing struggle to balance its human and monster elements.

In conclusion, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is a spectacle of monster mayhem and CGI wizardry, anchored by an emotionally resonant story for King Kong. While it sets a new standard for action in the Monsterverse, it struggles to fully escape the issues that plague the franchise.

Rating 6/10