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"Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" Movie Review: Two Monsters Are Better Than One

"Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" is an enjoyable film that transcends rational thinking

"Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire" movie review
"Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire" | Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Amidst all the wonky science, tech, and mythology, the most unbelievable thing about Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire is that people and buildings (and the Earth!) still somehow exist despite titanic beings wreaking havoc on a weekly basis.

So yes, logic has no place in this cinematic reality. But once you suspend all disbelief and embrace the cathartic joy of seeing all sorts of wacky destruction, you’ll surely have Kaiju-sized fun best experienced in an IMAX cinema.

The movie gathered a monstrous $194 million worldwide on its opening weekend.

It might surprise the casual movie fan but did you know that Godzilla x Kong (GxK) is the fifth film in the MonsterVerse cinematic universe? Legendary Pictures, with Warner Bros. Pictures, kicked it off in 2014 with Godzilla, followed by Kong: Skull Island in 2017, Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019, and Godzilla vs. Kong in 2021.

All films were blockbuster hits, hence, GxK picks up the plot a few years after the last one. That being said, do you need to rewatch the past four movies to appreciate the nuances in the story of GxK? Better yet, should you do a deep dive and rewatch as many Kong and Godzilla movies and TV shows as you can?!!

Not really.

See, the film begins in Hollow Earth (a place in the middle of the planet, like literally where the core’s supposed to be) and we see Kong hunting titans and monsters and asserting his dominance over all the creatures there. Nobody can mess with him. But he is also with nobody. He is the last of his kind and he has no one left.

Back on Earth, Godzilla is busy keeping all the other titans in line. He has a sort of Kaiju-sense and he can detect whenever a monstrous anomaly is alive and destroying the balance of life on Earth. Godzilla is like humanity’s giant untrained pitbull that will keep you safe from danger even if it means killing you so that you are safe from said danger.

In Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire, the two creatures faced off but ultimately teamed up to fight a bigger foe and so they have a kind of mutual respect that comes from the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" kind of thinking. 

They still don’t like each other but their existence keeps everything on Earth under check. That is until bigger and bigger disturbances start happening on both sides of the Earth. Godzilla becomes restless and leaves his home (which is the Colosseum in Rome, by the way) more frequently. He seems more aggressive and on edge. Kong, meanwhile, notices weird things happening in Hollow Earth so he goes around and discovers creatures that catch him off-guard.

Director Adam Wingard, Dan Stevens as Trapper, and Rebecca Hall as Dr. Ilene Andrews
Director Adam Wingard, Dan Stevens as Trapper, and Rebecca Hall as Dr. Ilene Andrews | Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

All the while, the scientists from Monarch (a group that keeps track of all the kaiju activity on Earth) notice the anomalous things happening so a small group follows Kong back to Hollow Earth to investigate whatever dangers are lurking in its depths. Will they be able to solve things that even Kong can’t fix with his fists of fury? And how will Godzilla make his way into all of this?

But more importantly, will there be any ancient wonders left after the film reaches its monstrous climax? Spoiler Alert: they trash the pyramids in a non-apologetic fashion. Note: a similar concept has been done in other mediums like in DC and Marvel comics but I would pay good money to see a film about the construction crews in the MonsterVerse who manage to repair and practically rebuild everything in this world quickly so that this Earth still looks like the Earth we know of.

Rebecca Hall as Dr. Ilene Andrews and Brian Tyree Henry as Bernie Hayes
Rebecca Hall as Dr. Ilene Andrews and Brian Tyree Henry as Bernie Hayes | Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Whether you are well-versed in Kong and Godzilla lore or you’re just seeking refuge from the monstrous heat wave in the Philippines in a cool cinema, GxK is a fun film that brings all the best elements of monster movies into one bombastic intercontinental romp that promise to awe and astound even when the titans are not in frame.

At the helm of this movie is director Adam Wingard. The screenplay is by Terry Rossio (Godzilla vs. Kong, the Pirates of the Caribbean series) and Simon Barrett (You’re Next) and Jeremy Slater (Moon Knight), from a story by Rossio & Wingard & Barrett, based on the character “Godzilla” owned and created by TOHO Co., Ltd. The film is produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Eric Mcleod, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Brian Rogers. The executive producers are Wingard, Jen Conroy, Jay Ashenfelter, Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira.

The film stars Rebecca Hall (Godzilla vs. KongThe Night House), Brian Tyree Henry (Godzilla vs. KongBullet Train), Dan Stevens (GaslitLegionBeauty and the Beast), Kaylee Hottle (Godzilla vs. Kong), Alex Ferns (The BatmanWrath of ManChernobyl) and Fala Chen (Irma VepShang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings).

A portal has opened, and the Titans of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire have arrived. Mall-goers can get to meet the legendary Kong and the fearsome Godzilla in the “Titans Emerge” exhibit at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall, which is open to the public until April 6.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is now showing.

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures