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Movie Review: Godzilla x Kong does the monster mash

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire marks an action-packed, eye-popping and somewhat silly reunion for two of Hollywood’s most famous monsters.

They’re bigger! They’re badder! And the titans are here to bring the thunder!

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire marks an action-packed, eye-popping and somewhat silly reunion for two of Hollywood’s most famous monsters. Like most of Warner Bros. recent MonsterVerse movies, it’s equally shallow and exciting for audiences hoping to see giant CGI creatures in a boxing match.

It’s been ten years since the 2014 reboot of Godzilla, but most of the plot stems as a continuation from 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong, which most people saw at home or the drive-in during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The great news is the big-screen debacle now gets to be seen in a traditional cinema, where the headlining technical prowess can be admired in all its glistening glory. The engrossing sound design, visual effects and giant creatures running through the jungles and oceans can now be admired to its fullest potential.

Read more here: Godzilla and King Kong headline one heckuva fight

Director Adam Wingard returns for this re-team sequel, and his contrasting tones between high-stakes sci-fi danger and campy monster mash are just as jarring when Godzilla and Kong were last seen together three years ago. 

Where the plot differs is that the human scientists (like returning actors Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry) get more screen time in the sequel, and the two headlining creatures spent most of the film’s run time apart. The human mystery into the fantastical threats is more interesting this time, but they come at the cost of the dynamic creature fights.

Truthfully, the payoff of seeing Kong and Godzilla fight together is less satisfying than when they last fought side-by-side. The climactic fight is still the highlight, but the overall scale feels more muted than the all-out rampage from their first film.

Though the plot is slow, one device that’s handled with surprising grace is how clear and effective the communication is between between the non-speaking characters (both human and animal.)

One refreshing aspect is that the brutality, gore and scare level of Godzilla vs. Kong has been toned down slightly, making this more of a genuine PG action epic that’s less intense for general audiences.

If giant lizards and gorillas fighting demons and more gorillas sound like your idea of a great UFC title match, this film will be great time. This supposedly new empire offers almost nothing new, but for “fight night” fans, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

5 out of 10

PG. 1hr 55mins. Adventure Fantasy Disaster Epic.

Directed by Adam Wingard.

Starring Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle, Alex Ferns and Rachel House.ens and Kaylee Hottle.

Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, 5 Drive-In, Cineplex Winston Churchill & VIP and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.