Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Titans duke it out in Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire

Director Adam Winglans returns to the big screen with two monstrous titans in “Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire” from Warner Bros. Pictures. The script, penned by Terry Rossio, Simon Barrett, and Jeremy Slater, is the fifth film in the Monster Verse franchise. Additionally, it is the 38th film in the Godzilla franchise and the 13th film in the King Kong franchise.

The latest adventure finds Godzilla and Kong harmonious after they defeat Mechagodzilla. Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, and Kaylee Hottle reprise their roles from Godzilla vs. Kong as they unite against a mysterious Hollow Earth threat. The film also focuses on the previously untold origins of the Titans and Skull Island. The latest “Monsterverse” expands upon the equilibrium introduced in its predecessor. Kong rules unchallenged within the untouched confines of Hollow Earth, a domain at our planet’s core, while Godzilla maintains vigil on the surface world.

The tacit agreement is that tranquility prevails as long as each retains their respective sphere of influence. However, enigmatic distress signals emerge from this secretive underbelly of Hollow Earth, sparking curiosity in Godzilla and potentially portending an ominous menace. In pursuit of understanding these developments, Dr. Ilene Andrews (portrayed by Hall) embarks on an investigative journey into Hollow Earth’s heart with a team of specialists, including YouTuber Bernie Stevens (Brian Tyree Henry) and vet Trapper (Dan Stevens). She seeks clarity alongside Kong as her guide.

The Monster Verse franchise, in contrast to other film franchises, receives comparably lesser attention. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that this franchise has proficiently premiered four full-length features on cinema screens worldwide within just over a decade. Although these films do not meet conventional standards of perfection, they effectively serve as excellent sources of cinematic entertainment. Such entertainment is achieved by leveraging the distinctive appeal of the monstrous protagonists to achieve viewer engagement and delight.

With a sweeping irony that many reviewers have noted, we are left asking, where could this franchise venture next? The magnetic resignation of the new film lies predominantly in the fact that our famous giants, Godzilla and Kong, interact for merely fleeting moments. During their encounter, it baffles their last cinematic clash to such an extent that you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re watching a rerun — each identifying the other as guardians of the earth. Expectations were naturally low concerning envisioning them sharing screen space and bartering quips like fast friends; however, wouldn’t it infuse novelty if they exuded traces of more personality, paving the way for fresh modes of interaction?

Nevertheless, “Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire” is a battle between monsters. In that regard, it delivers a TKO.

Final Grade: B-

“Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire” is in theaters now

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