Review: Kong goes apeshit, Godzilla helps

Latest Monsterverse mayhem delivers predictable, absurd thrills

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Where: In theatres
What: Movie, 115 mins.
When: Fri., March 29
Genre: Monsterverse
Rating: NNN (out of 5)
Why you should watch: Minimal story and maximum smashing of shit.

UNLIKE the plot-dense MCU, in the Monsterverse, it doesn’t really matter that much where you pick up the story, the action remains the same. And if you like seeing big beasts knock the shit out of each other in cool settings, you won’t be disappointed.

Technically, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is the latest in a series of G&K films, the most recent 2021’s Godzilla vs. Kong, which shares a director, Adam Wingard, with this film, and saw the two beasts battle it out. The plot in this franchise is merely the fascia that holds all the muscles, bones and mass together, but it’s ultimately incidental. After their battle in the previous film, the two beasts have been separated. Kong lives a lonely life below the surface in Hollow Earth while Godzilla is free to roam and wreak occasional havoc on the planet’s surface.

Eventually, Kong briefly returns to the surface because of a toothache and Godzilla is roused from resting in Rome’s Colosseum to gather radioactive power and make its way down to Hollow Earth, where it is being inexplicably drawn. Kong appears to be more human-positive in his actions, carefully stepping over stuff and only tearing creatures apart. Godzilla gives no shits and, to the delight of viewers, stomps his way through major cities, crushing historical sites with his massive lizard feet and uncaring swings of his scaly tail.

Of course, we eventually get to see the two beasts wage another battle, this time making quite a mess of the Egyptian pyramids before they eventually join forces to gloriously kick a variety of creatures’ asses.

The handful of humans that populate the story deliver occasionally amusing asides that assure viewers that even the filmmakers are in on the joke. Cliches fall from the characters’ mouths with the same frequency as corn popping in the theatre’s lobby concession stand. And that’s okay because familiarity is part of the comfort a film like this offers. Sure, we feel a little sorry because Kong appears to be lonely but, emotionally, we’re not going to be too challenged at a Monsterverse film — just, ideally, somewhat delighted as shit gets smashed up real good.

And in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, shit most assuredly does get smashed up real good.