Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the kind of film that viewers should simply turn their brain off and enjoy it for what it is.
“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is the kind of film that viewers should simply turn their brain off and enjoy it for what it is.
Owen Chaidez

‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ gloriously provides mindless fun

The concept of equilibrium is an ever present idea in life, whether in the real world or fictional world. Take the fictional one, for example: In a world of “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie,” there exists a balance of serious, deep stories on one side, and on the other, the complete opposite, as seen in “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.”

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is the newest entry to the ever-increasingly bonkers universe that is the Monsterverse. Releasing on March 29, “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” follows Kong and Godzilla as they face a new threat: a powerful dictator ape called Skar King and his tamed minion, Shimo.

To call this film absurd would be a massive understatement. In fact, it’s so wacky that it felt like it was a modernized version of a Showa-era Godzilla film. The film is chock full of references that even the most knowledgeable fans may miss, like Godzilla recreating the infamous dive seen in “Ebirah Monster of the Deep.”

Director Adam Wingard really embraces the whole concept of zany moments throughout the entire film. One of the most out-there scenes involved Kong picking up Suko, an young, outcast ape, and quite literally uses him as a melee weapon, smacking other apes who get close with this literal child. Another weirdly enjoyable moment is the introduction of titan veterinarian Trapper, set to the needle drop of “I got’cha” by Greenflow.

In terms of characters, the film was sorely lacking in that department. Dr. Andrews received a lot of development in the previous film, and as a consequence received very little to do during the length of the film. Jia, another returning character, also got no characterization and instead was used as a plot device to set up the climax of the film. This was the case for all returning characters, as they were stagnant and boring, being severely underused to pad out the action scenes.

The only character who truly stood out was Trapper, a character that can only be described as Ace Ventura but for 300 hundred foot tall monsters. He had a surprisingly large amount of charm, not detracting from any scenes with his nonchalant attitude but instead improving on them. Outside of that, all the new characters felt one note, only acting as tools to move the plot.

But let’s be honest, nobody is watching these films for the enthralling human drama. They’re watching for the monster fights, so logically one would think they would be energetic and exciting?

A massive step down from prior films is what they were. The monster fights lacked weight and scale, which was understandable for scenes set in the Hollow Earth, but inexcusable for just about every other fight scene present in the film. Every monster came off as weightless, being tossed around like nothing, and combined with poorly-shot jump cuts made for the fights to be a downgrade from the excellent fight scenes seen in “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

It was lovely to see Wingard use two previously unseen titans first mentioned in 2019, but they were poorly used, each being given just about 30 seconds of screen time. On the other hand, Skar King was a menacing villain, displaying his sheer power and control with his dictator-like body language and sheer disdain for all other life forms. His minion Shimo could’ve received a bit more love, but her design made up for her lack of story.

As per usual, the visual effects were beyond impressive, popping with bright colors and small but clear details, which helped to offset the lackluster action. Lead designer Jared Krichevsky was cooking yet again with his creativity.

While no “Godzilla Minus One,” this newest release provides a lighthearted, fast-paced alternative for the ever-growing franchise. Let’s just hope that Kong stops getting tossed around in the sequel.

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About the Contributor
Owen Chaidez, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Owen Chaidez is an Editor-In-Chief for the DGS Blueprint. He is an honors student who is dedicated to bringing awareness to the daily lives and struggles of people with disabilities, as he has a disability called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. His journey with journalism began his sophomore year, where he was a member of the Blueprint club writing reviews. From there he became an Entertainment Editor in his junior year, continuing to write about pop culture and the importance of inclusion and representation of those with disabilities. Outside of school, he is a member of the King’s Scholar program at the Brookfield Zoo, where he gets the opportunity to educate guests about the exhibits and conservation science. He hopes to attend the University of Illinois to eventually become a veterinary radiologist.

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