Thursday, March 28, 2024

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire - Movie Review

The Movie: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

The Director: Adam Wingard

The Cast: Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle, Alex Ferns, Fala Chen

The Story: Two ancient titans, Godzilla and Kong, clash in an epic battle as humans unravel their intertwined origins and connection to Skull Island's mysteries.

The Rating: 7 / 10

The Review:
I feel like I'm being generous with my 7/10 rating although, after thinking it over, I can't deny that I was thoroughly entertained by a movie that knows exactly what its lane is in the cinematic landscape. The whole thing is just a giant special effects explosion in your face and the audience I saw it with was all for it with cheering and laughing and everyone being in general awe of the spectacle that was bursting out on screen. While being one of the most visually bloated (not a negative in this case) movies you will ever see, it also has an old school B-movie vibe that really helps to define the whole experience.

The soundtrack is very synth heavy, at times giving off an 80's late night cable TV type of vibe and there are a ton of nods to that era of science fiction and monster movies. Director Adam Wingard, who really made his mark in the horror genre (see: You're Next and The Guest), seems to know what audiences want from a cinematic world of monsters as he abandons any semblance of a story and just puts as much action on screen as possible. For the most part, the humans really have no meaning or relevance to the story other than to deliver exposition and bad dialog.

The acting in this movie is pretty bad although I don't think much effort was made to have be anything other than that. It was more like, here deliver these lines so viewers havce a general idea of what's going on and then get out of the way. Again, when it comes to this movie, these aren't really criticisms because no one is asking for anything else, all we want to see is monsters attacking each other and thankfully this is what we get.

One of the best, and cheesiest, moments is when one monster is picked up and used as a weapon against other monsters and I believe that is the moment that defined what the rest of the movie was going to be. The movie is also just stunning to look at, every scene is filled with vibrant colors and the whole thing is as glossy as a big time bluckbuster movie should be. At the beginning, some of the special effects felt a little cartoony but once I was fully immersed in that world, especially all the time spent in "Hollow Earth," the only thing that was noticeable was how amazing everything looked.

You might ask how this movie compares to last year's Oscar winning Godzilla Minus One movie which was produced by Toho Studios in Japan which is the original creator of the franchise. I will say that both are great in their own very distinct ways. Both have amazing visual effects although again in very different ways. The primary difference is that one has a very well thought out story that is dramatic, engaging, and exciting and the other movie doesn't.

Is this a great movie that will stand the test of time? Not really. Is this a really fun cinema experience? Absolutely, and please go see it on the biggest screen you can find, buy the biggest size popcorn and drink you can find, and then sit back and enjoy the ride.

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