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Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

The latest Monsterverse epic leaves a lot to be desired.

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We throw the term "entertaining slop" around quite often on Gamereactor UK. We use that phrase to describe the sorts of entertainment that we know won't impress us in a critical sense but that still has some engaging elements that draw in the viewer and make them want to see it with their own eyes. Perhaps the best modern example of what constitutes entertaining slop is the Fast and Furious franchise, but Legendary's Monsterverse isn't far behind at all.

Ever since the fantastic reboot of Godzilla in 2014, the Monsterverse has given us film-after-film of quite drab releases masked in an aura of chaotic and ground-shaking action. Between the other Godzilla films, the Kong solo outing, and the dual-efforts between the two iconic titans, I can firmly say that I have never actually been impressed by what I've seen on the big screen, and yet I keep coming back for more. Following, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, I'm really starting to wonder why.


This is not a great film for a multitude of reasons. The Monsterverse has never had the best and most coherent narrative threads, but here things just become so wacky and silly that it never at one moment feels believable. Even the scientific and human perspective in the series that was recently explored with Apple TV+'s Monarch show is twisted and turned into some bizarre plot that looks into the deep-rooted history of the titans and how they fit into the world and connect with ancient human tribes. You can't rely on human emotion and story beats to tie together the package revolving around a radioactive lizard and a giant ape the size of a skyscraper teaming up to fight another giant ape and an icy dinosaur. If you told me this story was written by an AI or a six-year-old with a crayon, I'd be in my right mind to believe you.

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The problem with this movie isn't just the hilariously bad story though, it's also the uneven pacing that makes its near two-hour runtime feel like it lasts twice as long, the cast of characters that never feel relevant or interesting, and the the abhorrent editing that has seen the inclusion of arguably the most egregious use of product placing in cinema history. If you don't believe me, take a look at the short clip below.

Sure, the action is flashy and exciting, the special effects are well implemented and used, and Godzilla and Kong shine when they're on-screen, so much so that these two CGI massive monsters pull off more of an emotional performance than their real human counterparts. But this isn't enough to make this film stand out and actually impress. There needs to be more to this film than brain-dead action and effects if it intends to keep the viewer interested. Assuming you won't lose control of yourself like a young boy when Kong gets his new power glove or when Godzilla 2.0 (as we'll call him) shows up, there's really not much to take from this film or to harp on about. It's without a doubt the low-point of the Monsterverse.

I don't know where the Monsterverse goes from this point (there were a lot of teasers about its future though), but it desperately needs to find some of the human emotion and the raw fear that 2014's Godzilla offered. There also needs to be an effort to better incorporate human characters into the world, because neither Kong nor Godzilla talk, and without key dialogue from key and impactful characters, the narrative will never have the weight or depth it requires. The human element of this film is so dire that you can probably name the number of actually relevant human characters on one hand, and even then only a few of these characters stand out.

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Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

If you just want to fall into a cinema seat, switch off your brain, and enjoy action without near any weight behind it, then Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is for you. But, if you want a sprinkling of narrative and marginally complex or emotional characters, then you'll have a very tough time with this film.

04 Gamereactor UK
4 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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