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Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

also known as “Godzilla a Kong: Nová Ríša,” “Godzilla e Kong - Il nuovo impero,” “Godzilla e Kong: O Novo Império,” “Godzilla et Kong: Le nouvel empire,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for creature violence and action.

Reviewed by: Mike Klamecki
CONTRIBUTOR

Moral Rating: Average to Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults Young-Adults Teens
Genre: Sci-Fi Action Adventure 3D IMAX
Length: 1 hr. 55 min.
Year of Release: 2024
USA Release: March 29, 2024 (wide release)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Companyclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
Relevant Issues

Fictional gigantic monster creatures

Hollow Earth mythos

Freeing those held in captivity (slavery) by an evil overlord

Attempting to restore a fallen kingdom

Importance of making moral actions

Love by a mother for her adopted daughter

Telepathy between Kong and girl

Is there a connection between dragon legends and dinosaurs?

The Great Dinosaur Mystery On-line
Visit our dinosaur-size Web site where you’ll discover a mountain of knowledge and amazing discoveries. How do dinosaurs fit into the Bible? You’ll find the answer to this and many more of your questions. Play games, browse and learn. Includes many helps for teachers and parents.

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
Featuring Rebecca HallIlene Andrews
Brian Tyree HenryBernie Hayes
Dan StevensTrapper
Kaylee HottleJia
Rachel HouseHampton
See all »
Director Adam Wingard
Producer Legendary Entertainment
Screen Queensland [Australia]
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures. Trademark logo.Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

“Rise together or fall alone”

Prequel: “Godzilla vs. Kong” (2021)

Warning: This review comes from a guy who has been a Godzilla fan since he was a small child watching guys on TV in Godzilla suits destroy Tokyo and other Kaiju (although back in those days they were just known as “giant monsters”).

It is a good time to be a Godzilla fan as Legendary Studios have been upping their game with four Godzilla movies in the last few years, the release of the recent Apple+ “Monarch” series that focuses on world building with these Kaiju, the extraordinarily good “Godzilla Minus One,” not to mention “Kong: Skull Island” and the love King Kong has been getting. Yes I have been pretty happy with all the offerings. And now here comes “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” (the “x” is silent, I heard… but why have it?? Oh well, #marketing).

I was suspicious of “Godzilla x Kong,” however, because reviews didn’t come out until the afternoon of the opening day (always a bad sign). Also, in the trailers, Godzilla is sporting pink highlights (?) and is literally running into danger like a Marvel sidekick (Godzilla is a notorious lumberer). I was nervous this was going to be the “jump the shark” moment in the franchise.

Well, not only did they jump the shark, but they gleefully took the shark’s fin mid-jump and took it dancing all night. That to say, this is the most outrageous effort of the bunch, and either you are on board for the wild ride or you will suffer in the cramped back seat.

First of all, like the previous “Godzilla vs. Kong,” this movie is a very colorful, kinetic, and loud assault on the senses. If you are not ready for all that noise you may want to skip this one.

I have a feeling, however, if anyone is thinking about attending “Godzilla x Kong” then they know what they are getting into. The same director, Adam Wingard, is back from the previous installment and his fast-paced storytelling is acknowledged not only in scene movement but in narration/backstory methodology.

You get caught up in a hurry as we see Godzilla immediately fighting a crab monster, reminiscent of the lobster-like Ebirah, which he finishes off in a hurry (and makes you want to get some crab legs after the show).

We go on to meet our cast of the last installment which includes serious anthropologist Ilene (Rebecca Hall) and her adoptive daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle) who is having weird premonitions that come in dreams and through her drawings about Hollow Earth (where she was living in GvK).

We are also introduced again to the Hollow Earth mythos that proves that there is another world within our earth (or maybe another dimension) that is occupied by dinosaurs, beasties, and an ancient race of telekinetic tribespeople. We also get the rundown that Kong is the Boss Monkey of Hollow Earth, and Godzilla is the Boss Beast of our world who takes down monstrous threats willy-nilly (which seems to have upticked quite a bit based on the readings of the government monster-watchdog organization Monarch).

As Godzilla takes down the crab monster above, Kong is running from some nasty hyena-creatures below in Hollow Earth. Whereas Godzilla is seen as a force of nature making quick work of monsters by sheer brute force, Kong is depicted as a thinking ape who can set deadly traps for threatening creatures who want to challenge his position as ruler of Hollow Earth.

Kong makes a trip up to the Earth’s surface so we can meet the other players in our monster movie team. We also see that Kong needs to get a sore tooth extracted by the free-wheeling, Hawaiian shirt wearing kaiju veterinarian (and Ilene’s ex-boyfriend), Trapper (Dan Stevens), who effortlessly ad libs with returning nervous podcaster Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry).

Speaking of Kong, the series has wisely shown him as a sympathetic underdog-hero that we can cheer for. We felt sorry for him in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as he fought an unfair fight with the Big Green Machine as he was handcuffed to an aircraft carrier, and in this one we feel for him because who hasn’t been miserable with a bad tooth?

By the way, Trapper successfully extracts said tooth and puts in its place a titanium crown which Kanye would die for. Anyway, once assembled, the team heads into Hollow Earth with Kong (because the script needs that to happen) to figure out the mysterious energy pulses detected on the Monarch Project’s monster-measuring tech that correlate with young Jai’s premonitions.

And wouldn’t you know it? There is a mystery race of giant apes (I think they are bonobos) imprisoned in an even deeper area in Hollow Earth and ruled by a despot ape who subjugates his citizens with hard labor, punishment, and a big frosty dino whose breath can freeze you on contact.

Kong, who has always felt he was the last of his race, happens upon the apes and immediately is harassed, challenged, and beaten by the Skar King ape. Kong also makes a friend of a smaller ape that looks like it should be on a Happy Meal and creates one of the most hilarious moments in an early fight between Kong and the other apes.

Apparently Godzilla imprisoned Skar King and his subjects a long time ago, and they have been looking to attack the surface world ever since. Godzilla senses this, and in much of the movie he is sidelined as he “powers-up” for the big battle.

VIOLENCE: None of this matters really, since we know that all parties must meet up to have a knock-down, drag-out fight… and that they do! I have not seen so much destruction-porn in a very long time since “Man of Steel.” From Cairo to Rio, we see historic monuments and packed vacation spots torn up and leveled as Kong, Big-G, and Skar King go at it. Much collateral damage and unseen casualties follow, as these titans fight unhindered (although to Kong’s credit he at least notices there are people in the wrecked hotel). And really, that’s why we are here, right? To watch monsters hit each other in the face!

This movie has lots of CGI violence that comes in the form of mass destruction, human peril, and lots of monster mayhem. Nothing looks very real, and no blood is spilled, except that of the CGI type.

As far as the quality of the fights go, “Godzilla x Kong” brings it in spades. The fights are over-the-top and explosive. As far as the CGI goes, it’s hit or miss. Sometimes the visuals look very impressive and colorful, and sometimes they look like they should have been rendered a little longer.

Also, there are more plot contrivances in this movie than all the others combined. Oh no, Kong’s arm is injured! What can we do? Well good thing we have been working on robotic monster augmentation prototypes which amazingly fit Kong’s arm perfectly! Fly it in! …suspend all belief ye who enter this movie…

There is surprisingly little bad language (2 s**t, 1 h*ll, 3 d**m, h*ll, a**, g*d) and no sexuality or nudity.

This movie is most like the Showa era Godzilla series made popular in the 1950s through 70s that were more cartoony and light-hearted. Kong and Godzilla are softened up in this effort (Godzilla curling up to sleep in the Roman Colosseum is just downright adorable) and may be a good fit for younger Godzilla/Kong fans (my theater was FULL of kids).

It also has some curious music choices that fit in the “boomer rock” category so there may be something here for everyone (even my wife liked it). I think the level of enjoyability will be directly proportionate to one’s ability to embrace the ridiculousness.

I would have enjoyed a stinger at the end-credits but alas, no luck.

Kong’s main motivation to go to war with the Skar King (and to recruit Godzilla to help out) is the drive to free those in captivity of a punishing taskmaster that makes life miserable. Seeing the sadness in the eyes of his fellow apes gives him the courage to put his safety aside to risk all for those he doesn’t know but cares for deeply. Jesus proclaimed to the Pharisees of his time,

“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” —John 8:34

He uses the analogy of a slave and his master to make the point that a slave obeys his master because he belongs to him. They are literally in bondage to their masters. When sin is our master, we are unable to resist it. But, by the power of Christ to overcome the power of sin,

“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” —Romans 6:18

And so we believe Jesus when He says,

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” —John 8:36

Conclusion

If you are a Kong or Godzilla fan, and are willing to go with the craziness, you will probably really enjoy “Godzilla x Kong.” At the movie’s end I felt like that young, excited boy who, after watching the rubber-suited men on daytime TV, would go and make my own live-action scenes with my Godzilla action figures. And the icing on the cake is a surprise guest appearance by one of my all-time favorite Kaijus. No spoilers! All fun!

  • Violence: Heavy
  • Occult: Mild
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Mild to Moderate
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Minor alcohol use
  • Profane language: None
  • Nudity: None
  • Sex: None
  • Wokeism: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—I have to say, I am very surprised. Monsterverse movies and me do not exactly have a good history. Many of the previous films in the series have had several qualities that do not align well with my standards for a morally acceptable film (mainly due to blasphemy and general swearing). Godzilla 2014 started off the series okay, with a bit of swearing but not much; Kong Skull Island was a massive disappointment with more swearing than a phase 3 Marvel movie; Godzilla King of the Monsters was absolutely ludicrous in the amount of swearing and blasphemy it contained for no obvious reason; and I’m not even gonna try to talk about the Apple TV series Monarch Legacy of Monsters, woke woke woke woke woke TRASH.

What always frustrated me about the Monsterverse is that the movies genuinely would have appealed to me if they hadn’t had so much objectionable content in them. I grew up with Godzilla, and he is a childhood icon of sorts to me. So it has always somewhat ticked me off when Hollywood studios in America screw up his movies by adding pointless profanity and offensive content just for the sake of being “mature.”

However, I’m beginning to think that the Monsterverse may be taking a turn for the better. “Godzilla vs Kong” had far less swearing in it, and even though it has one use of blasphemy, the guy who said the actual words was the main human villain of the movie, so it could be somewhat brushed off as just another reason to dislike the guy. Now with “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire,” we have a movie that has fairly mild swearing, and ZERO BLASPHEMY (that I or the main reviewer could hear). If the Monsterverse continues down this path, I might just decide to show some of their movies to my kids.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Henry, age 38 (USA)
Positive—This movie was way better than the 2021 one. The story was great and the script was excellent.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
Christopher, age 26
Neutral
Neutral—A bittersweet review as I had originally had the opportunity to write the review for Christian Spotlight—but, things change, and I appreciate the reviewers’ commentary. As my better half was not attending (no surprise there) this MonsterVerse movie—I could sit really close—and agree it was a cornucopia of “in your face” images and sounds.

I do agree the offensive language “level” and “number” seemed to be much lower than previous installments of the series—and concur I did not hear any blasphemies as well.

Sex, drugs—none. Rock and roll—some at various plot points, but nothing beyond “why is KISS in this soundtrack” passed my thoughts. Very few opportunities for character growth, either individually or vis-a-vis relationships with others. Nothing between the “dentist” and the “scientist” beyond small talk they knew each other in college. Think the podcast character could have been used better—but, this isn’t a movie about the human characters, now is it?

Although there was little human death or bloodletting on screen—I do not agree this is a movie for small children (there were several in my theater). There were graphic images of Kong having “lunch” after a battle—plus the vast destruction of cities, etc. But do appreciate the lack of human blood and guts (even scenes which depicted human death was done in a most understated manner—almost respectful—and much appreciated).

And… no post credits scene or images, which was a surprise.

There is the usual “willing suspension of disbelief”—there is no mention of God and the storyline assumes there is no Creation story as Christians would understand Biblically. The big issue(s) for me would be along the lines of “is this a good use of resources and time” for a believer?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Casey, age 58 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.