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'Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire' Review

LightsCameraJackson LightsCameraJackson Critic “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is the fifth feature film installment in WB’s decade-long MonsterVerse franchise. I enjoyed the most recent chapter, 2021’s “Godzilla vs. Kong”. 2014’s “Godzilla” was solid… 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island” only so-so… and 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” was horrible. Also watched the first couple episodes of AppleTV+ origin story series “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters”.

When it comes to “The New Empire”, I only enjoyed parts of it and not until about an hour in. The first half is boring and uninteresting. Same old same old. Lazy storytelling. It’s still this Monarch team (including Dr. Ilene Andrews, played by Rebecca Hall) investigating what’s going on with the gigantic creatures.

At the halfway mark, we finally get some solid battles. The visuals of these fight sequences are interesting, but they’re only a portion of this CG-heavy film. And clearly Warner Bros., Legendary, returning director Adam Wingard and the entire team really sat down after “GVK” and said, “Okay, how do we extend out this series so that maybe it can go on for a decade?” And they throw about seven or eight plotlines at us, involving the humans (who we don’t care about) and the creatures.

A portion of “The New Empire” gives-off too similar of a vibe to “Planet of the Apes”. (I’m looking forward to “Kingdom” in about a month.) There are a couple second half surprises that might satisfy those who have been with this saga from the beginning. But I left the theater coming to the conclusion that those appearances, and some of the showdowns, aren’t enough to make for an experience that’s exciting, entertaining or fulfilling enough.

“GXK” is the opposite of the Academy Award winning “Godzilla Minus One” — a sophisticated, powerful movie that sucks you in emotionally and keeps you glued for all two hours. When you’ve got Brian Tyree Henry (who was terrific in his recent Oscar nominated performance in “Causeway”) delivering goofy dialogue and Dan Stevens obviously trying to be the Star-Lord of this MonsterVerse through his character’s personality and entrances accompanied by rock music, you simply go, “Why?”

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LightsCameraJackson LightsCameraJackson Critic

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