The Dark Herald Recommends – Godzilla X Kong: New Empire

The Dark Herald Recommends – Godzilla X Kong: New Empire

I’ll begin with the obvious, this film is no Godzilla Minus One.  It’s not even close to that good but you knew that just looking at the trailers.  However, this is a completely different kind of movie that’s meant for a different audience.  If you watched Porky’s and were expecting Saving Private Ryan, that screw-up is all on you. Same thing applies here.  If you went to an American Godzilla movie and expected something from Toho, you should have managed your expectations better.

Here’s my intro to the last one from Legendary Films.

“This movie is dumb.

Let’s start with that upfront.  This movie is as dumb as a box of snake mittens, dumb as a crate of glass-hammers, as dumb as a Biden press conference.  

This movie is that dumb.

That said, it’s also a lot of fun.  If you are the audience for this film then you already know it.  Nobody who wants to see this film should have any illusions about what you are in for, and it is giant monsters beating the hell out of each other.  That’s only the reason anyone would want to see this movie and that is what you will get if you watch it.

I could pretty much end my review there but I’ll give you a little more than that.”

The same thing applies here. 

It’s not a thinking man’s film.  Not even a little bit.  That said, this one is something of an improvement over the last one.  The bizarre pro-ecological terrorism subplot of Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019) appears to have finally been dropped completely. Also, the cast has thankfully been paired down. Millie Bobbie Brown’s pointless subplot has been excised. She was the little kid in the 2019 Godzilla movie and given she was the most famous teenage girl in the world in 2021, the producers felt she would be a draw.  Maybe if she’d been given something to do but she wasn’t.  Also, she isn’t cheap anymore and they did not break the budget on this cast. 

The three carryovers from the last movie are the little mute girl that can swap mental texts with King Kong, her adoptive scientist mother, and the black comedy relief YouTuber. The one new character was a crazy, Australian kaiju veterinarian. Which if you’ve ever met a crazy Aussie, kind of works. 

The plot such as it is: King Kong lives in Hollow Earth now.  Honestly, the Pellucidar thing kind of works here too since King Kong is a throwback to stuff like Doyle’s The Lost World.  It’s tolerable. 

Godzilla lives topside and is now the Friend of Man, like in the Showa Era Godzilla movies. Admittedly a friend who’s a Hell’s Angel and gets you dragged into bar fights and thrown in jail which is a part of your life you thought you’d left behind when you got out of the Marine Corps.  But if the chips are really down, he’s there for you.  Just manage your expectations when it comes the collateral damage because that’s going to happen. 

When Godzilla isn’t beating the hell out of other Kaijus he likes to nap in the Colosseum. The Romans likely have mixed feelings about this, but it’s not like he can make the traffic any worse. 

King Kong is lonely so he goes down from Hollow Earth to… Hollower Earth?  So yeah, he finds his own kind in Pellucidar’s sub-basement. But they’ve been enslaved by a super evil Kong who has also enslaved a kaiju with super ice-breath.  

You’ve worked out the rest of the plot, haven’t you?

Kong goes topside to talk his radioactive homey into pulling up on evil Kong’s ice kaiju. They fight at first because it’s required. Then fight their enemies in Hollow Earth and then fight them again in Rio.  Spoiler alert, the good monsters win.

The humans do some bumper scenes because that’s their job, although honestly, I’m not positive they are needed at this point. Kong was able to carry this movie solely based on his expressions and gestures.  I saw this movie with the Dark Bro’s daughter who is autistic and nearly non-verbal. She loved it, she was able to follow the whole thing and had a ball.  

Basically, this is the Godzilla vs Kong movie I wanted when I was kid and it works for kids.  If you’re an adult you probably won’t like it but this film wasn’t made for you. 

This. Is. A. Boys’. Movie.

It’s not meant for grown-ups or little kids, it’s meant for boys.  That’s the audience. 

Godzilla Minus One will be out on video in September in case you were wondering..

The Dark Recommends with Reservations (2.7/5)

Okay, I’m done here.

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