Godzilla and Kong running towards the Scar King in Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire | Agents of Fandom

‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ Features Best-in-Class Action With Hit or Miss Characters

Dan Stevens and Kaylee Hottle bring unbelievable heart and charm to the latest MonsterVerse movie.

The sixth feature film in the MonsterVerse movie franchise is now playing in theaters everywhere, and it sees Godzilla and Kong team up to take on several dangerous new Titans. Like most films that precede it, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire features plenty of Titan-smashing action with some shaky characters and humor that doesn’t always land.

A poignant human storyline is not why people go to the theaters to see a MonsterVerse Godzilla and Kong movie. However, it’s impossible not to notice the flaws, especially after the Oscar-winner Godzilla Minus One delivered such a compelling narrative on both the Monster and human fronts. Overall, Godzilla x Kong is a great time that doesn’t take itself too seriously, weighed down by some distracting problems.

‘Godzilla X Kong’ Review: Frustrating Issues Hold Back Incredible Titan Action

The Skar King roaring in Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire | Agents of Fandom
The Skar King is menacing but criminally underutilized in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

The biggest crime in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is that, despite the movie being littered with action scenes, it doesn’t take off until about the halfway point. Yes, the action is a blast, but the film takes far too long to introduce its main villain, the Skar King. The human characters build him up as this omnipotent figure, almost to a fault; he is terrifying and powerful, but also one-dimensional and severely lacks screen time.

It’s easy to scoff at a complaint like Monsters being one-dimensional because they can’t speak. But, this franchise has worked hard to establish and develop its Titan’s emotions and motives. The audience loves watching Godzilla and Kong smash buildings, but we care about them due to their innate sense to protect humans and use their power for good. The Skar King is just out for revenge, which, unlike other great villains, leaves no compelling reason to root for him, or even feel sad at his inevitable defeat.

This movie also has a severe scaling problem, similar to what happens in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania when Scott Lang goes into the quantum realm. The vast majority of Godzilla x Kong takes place in Hollow Earth, the Titan’s native environment. It’s impossible to discern Godzilla and his people from normal-sized gorillas when they’re running through open fields and climbing mystical mountains. The action on the surface alleviates this somewhat, but it’s still a distracting contrast to draw for roughly 80% of the film.

Titans Save the Day and the Movie

Godzilla and Kong standing outside under the sun roaring up at the sky in Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire | Agents of Fandom
“They don’t have to like each other, they just have to work together.” Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

At the end of the day, these nitpicks are just that, and while they do hold the movie back from being a truly great entry in the franchise, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. The last 30 minutes in particular feel like an adrenaline-fueled Royal Rumble but with Monsters. It’s in the final act that Godzilla x Kong tosses off the gloves, and gets down to why everyone bought a ticket in the first place: giant Titans beating each other to a pulp.

The visuals continue to astound; the MonsterVerse is the perfect example of what blockbuster, big-budget movies should look like. Whether it’s Godzilla swimming into enemy Titan territory in the Arctic Ocean, or Kong swinging through the trees and cliffs of Hollow Earth, the visuals are polished to a point of near perfection, not subtracting from the immersion. Massive credit where credit is due to Special Effects Supervisor Bruce Bright, as well as the 250+ visual effects workers who poured their heart and soul into making Godzilla x Kong a beautiful experience.

While the Titans are undoubtedly the highlight, there are some charming performances to appreciate. The dialogue is often very stiff, existing strictly to provide context to plot details, but Dan Stevens and Kaylee Hottle are equally outstanding. Stevens, a Titan doctor who goes by Trapper, delivers his lines with flair and always has great music playing to lift the mood. Hottle’s Jia, the last surviving Iwi from Skull Island, is no longer just an innocent child, but a survivor with an important role in this story.

‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ Is Well Worth the Trip to the Theater

Godzilla glowing pink roaring in the Arctic Ocean in Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire | Agents of Fandom
The heart of the story may belong to Kong, but Pink Godzilla is one of the coolest Titans in franchise history. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Godzilla x Kong certainly isn’t winning any Academy Awards, but that’s not at all what this movie is trying to accomplish. Its main goal is to deliver a thrilling blockbuster packed to the brim with Titans bashing each other’s heads in, and it finds great success with that goal. With a runtime of just under two hours, Godzilla x Kong is an easy film to enjoy that doesn’t require you to carve out an entire afternoon or evening’s worth of time for a trip to the theater.

Godzilla x Kong is now playing in theaters worldwide. Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest entertainment news and reviews.

'Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire' Review

'Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire' Review
3 5 0 1
3.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • Franchise-high Titan action.
  • Dan Stevens and Kaylee Hottle are tremendous.
  • Baby Kong is adorable.

The Bad

  • Lacking scale for the Titans in Hollow Earth.
  • Human story is aggressively boring.
  • Very little Skar King.
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