I was never a fan of wrestling as a kid.

Not like I had anything against it, I just never got into it.

But I knew what it was about.

Sometimes I stumbled upon a bizarre scene on the family TV. A lit ring surrounded by flashing lights and a baying crowd. Ridiculously muscular men in outlandish outfits enacting over the top scenarios of betrayal, shifting allegiances and back-against-the-wall fights and everything… everything was there to build more hype for the next thing that was happening.

Godzilla x Kong - The New Empire

So why did I start a review for a kaiju movie by reminiscing about a genre of TV entertainment I didn’t even partake in?

Because Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is an episode of the WWE where the wrestlers are the size of skyscrapers and the audience is getting stepped on.

I realised this some time around the moment I saw Godzilla suplex King Kong off the great pyramid of Giza and yes, that ‘X’ is a part of the title. Certain subsections of the internet are already assuming this is a very different type of movie.

The plot, such as it is, Godzilla roams the earth having daily showdowns with other kaiju. The world seems to consider this fairly normal despite what appears to be the casualties of your average world war occurring with every throwdown.

Godzilla x Kong - The New Empire

King Kong, meanwhile, is hanging out in the hollow earth fighting giant dogs and getting steadily lonelier while searching in vain for others like himself.

Then a psudo-psychic high school outcast starts getting visions of a possible blah blah blah lets get to the part where the giant monkey with a cyborg arm punches a radioactive lizard in the face.

I saw New Empire with my brother, a far bigger kaiju fan than me, and he assures me that the movie got the balance between human drama and monster fighting right this time; something he tells me preceding movies have failed to do.

I’m assuming this had something to do with the genius idea of dealing with the usual annoyance of morality pet child child characters that haven’t been endearing since ‘Aliens’ by making both of the ones in New Empire incapable of speech.

One of those is another monkey, just to be clear.

Godzilla x Kong - The New Empire

So there is a little bit of angst from an adoptive mum dealing with an outcast, non-verbal daughter and some tension about the political situation surrounding the kaiju and oh hey is that Rachel House? And she’s using her natural accent, neat! There’s also a blogger whose theories about hollow earth aren’t being believed even though they are true and an estranged wildcard monster vet and blah blah blah when does the giant monkey get an augmented robot arm?

This really is a piece of cinematography that speaks to your inner neurodivergent six year old with a collection of hardy, environmentally unsafe action figures you would slam together with sufficient force to risk breaking your fingers.

Giant monsters show up at the last minute to intervene in important fights with other giant monsters, there are team swaps as the power of friendship makes former enemies unite to fight a common foe and is that… by god! It’s Mothra with a steel chair!

Godzilla x Kong - The New Empire

There’s going to be criticism out there for the film’s lack of depth, but honestly the only thing I can say to those critics is ‘why did you even watch this?’

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is a film about giant monsters throwing down. It’s about mass destruction and building hype for the next slugfest that’s going on around the corner from the one that’s happening right now. Every change in scenery is like entering a new stage on a Mortal Kombat game and wondering if those spikes on the wall are going to impale someone. There are so many giant monster fights that many of them are happening off screen now. Both Godzilla and King Kong get a chance to fight a giant serpent that we don’t actually see die, they just show up in the next scene with bits of its torn apart body.

So yeah, I’m not going to rag on this movie for not including an in depth commentary on the human condition. It promised kaiju fights and by god…zilla, that’s what it delivered.

The action is as well animated as one can expect from a modern movie with the budget of a small country’s annual GDP and I was certainly entertained.

I’m told Godzilla Minus One has set the new golden standard for what can be done with the big guy, and this film definitely focuses more on King Kong, but as long as your expectations are reasonable and you leave your suspension of disbelief at home there’s no reason not to enjoy watching these titans clash.

Godzilla x Kong - The New Empire
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Warner Bros. – 2024) Review
Film details

Year: 2024
Rating: M15+
Running Time: 115 MIN
Genre: Action
Director: Adam Wingard
Starring: Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle, Alex Ferns, Fala Chen
Production Studio: Legendary Pictures
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

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