Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire 

(dir. Adam Wingard)

By: Adam Freed

Anyone who has ever observed a three year old smashing toy cars into one another with reckless abandon has already witnessed a far better summation of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire than any critic can possibly craft.  Boasting a breakneck pace and a shotgun blast of disjointed ideas, not only is director Adam Wingard’s Warner Bros. release difficult to follow, its painful overreliance on CG renders it without any discernible purpose. 

Set as a direct sequel to Wingard’s superior Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), The New Empire builds upon the fantastical realization that there is a  hospitable world hidden within Earth’s hollow core in which all kinds of supersized beasts, including King Kong are able to live free of human interaction.  Meanwhile, Kong’s archrival Godzilla continues to alternatingly menace and protect Earth’s surface from intermittent titan attacks.  All the while Godzilla works to supercharge his atomic energy surplus as if the King of Monsters could foresee an imminent conflict coming on the climactic horizon.  If Wingard’s film was half as concerned with crafting a meaningful line of dialogue as it is with its nauseating cacophony of CG devastation, it may have enjoyed a much higher probability of survival.  Unlike the Academy Award winning Godzilla Minus One (2023), a deeply human story rooted in buoyant and and emotionally connective interaction, Godzilla x Kong features dialogue that serves no conversational purpose other than to act as exposition in an attempt to sew together the baker’s dozen of plot holes perpetrated by the carelessness of the script.

Godzilla x Kong so blatantly disregards even the most basic formulas of narrative continuity in favor of delivering a digitally rendered kaleidoscopic deathblow to the Warner Bros. / Legendary “Monsterverse” saga.  Shortly into the film’s second act it becomes stingingly apparent that there are no rules tethering the film to any form of perceptible reality and therefore none of the proceedings matter in the least.  Even more damning to this green screen nightmare of a production is that its two central leads, Godzilla and Kong, serve no greater purpose other than to first smash and then protect, by way of smashing, everything in their path.  With such recent evidence that genre films of this type have a place amongst the greatest films of the era, it makes the sting of disappointment left by Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire resonate more painfully.

Target Score 2/10:  Beyond a polite tip of the cap to the CG world building at play, this is a thankless and thoughtless production.  Void of a discernible purpose, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has leveled the cinematic landscape and emerged as king of the worst films of the year to date.