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The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Behemoths on the Big Screen

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is dominating the box office and fan reviews alike.
buckyj via DeviantArt (CC BY-ND 3.0 DEED)

Among 2024’s first blockbuster hits, Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire had an enormous weight on its shoulders.  Following 2023’s Oscar award winning Godzilla Minus One from Toho Studios, the expectations for a new American kaiju movie were extraordinarily high.  Additionally, Legendary Pictures, the production company behind Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire and all preceding American Godzilla movies has been known for making well-liked, albeit not particularly groundbreaking, monster films.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire serves as Legendary Picture’s sequel to 2021’s Godzilla vs Kong. As the title of this most recent installment suggests, the two movie monsters have set aside their differences since 2021 in order to fight a common foe.  With the stakes (and creatures) bigger than ever before, the newest “Monsterverse” saga was destined to be a larger-than-life blockbuster. Thankfully, this movie monstrosity does not disappoint. 

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire can only be described as an over-the-top joyride with all of the action, adventure, and awe-inspiring intrigue that the monsterverse movies have become known for.  Going into the theater, fans simply want to see the titular kaijus duel in fantastical worlds. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire delivers thoroughly, bringing fantastic fight scenes to an enormous scale. 

The title titans, Godzilla and Kong, both match the previous quality and likability of their previous on-screen adaptations. Each creature excells at creating emotional and powerful scenes that carry the movie significantly.

Like in Godzilla vs Kong, the latter titan of immense ape ability reigns dominant on screen time throughout the film.  Kong, likable and consistently a joy to watch, could be considered the main character of Godzilla x Kong. His almost god-like relationship with the human characters and exaggerated attitude make every scene with Kong enjoyable and captivating.

Meanwhile, the rampaging reptilian, Godzilla, once again takes the passenger seat, receiving less sufficient screen time than his companion.  That said, every scene featuring Godzilla steals the show.  His larger-than-life presence and unquestionable authority not only captivate the characters, but the audience as well. Now dawning a pink array of spines, this 2024 rendition of the beloved beast sees Godzilla at his most powerful. Additionally, fans will likely be quick to adore the fun new detail that Godzilla, like a house pet, now takes frequent naps in the Roman Colloseum. Irreverently using the wonder of the world as a cozy bed give Godzilla a level of personality and naturalness never seen before. 

As for the movie’s villains, both Skar King and Shimo do a satisfactory job of delivering action and anticipation throughout the film.  Skar King, a primate titan of similar standing as Kong, stands as the primary antagonist.  Motivated by rage and stature, Skar King is a ferocious foe.  Shimo, Skar King’s dominant ally, remains one of the only female titans in the Monsterverse.  As a titan who controls ice, she brings an intriguing presence to the screen. 

Fans have created the comparison that Godzilla Minus One feels like a 5-star steak while Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is more like a decadent burger.

The human characters that accompany Godzilla and Kong on their respective journeys are, consistent with monster films, shallow and simple.  The people are enjoyable to view,  they propel the plot appropriately, and the acting is solid from all parties. But those in waiting for a deeply human story akin to Godzilla Minus One may not be entirely pleased. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is a monster movie, not a human movie, and it’s made that abundantly clear.

The primary flaw with Godzilla x Kong seems not to be the movie itself, but rather the critics who degrade it.  Following 2023’s Godzilla Minus One, (an Oscar-winning and critically acclaimed film), Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire inherited enormously lofty expectations.  And, when the 2024 film chose to take a more lighthearted approach to the titan characters, critics shared the sentiment that these expectations were not met. They deemed the movie shallow, with only 52% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. 

However, interestingly, fan reactions seem to be almost on par with the 2023 Godzilla film. With a current 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a domination of the box office prove that it’s clear Godzilla x Kong is a hit with casual viewers. Such a wide gap in viewer and critic reviews raises a question: should movies be judged on artistic prowess or cinematic enjoyability? 

While the answer to this enormous query is certainly dependent on the individual, fans have created the comparison that Godzilla Minus One feels like a 5-star steak while Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is more like a decadent burger.  Both films, composed of the same basic ingredient, differ in their delivery and experience. However, despite what critics may claim, that’s ultimately ok. Both films serve a purpose, one to express and one to entertain. And both serve their respective purpose with proficiency.  

Therefore, the 2023 and 2024 Godzilla films cannot be adequately compared.  Besides differing in almost every possible way, they strive to offer different cinematic experiences as a whole.

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is an outrageously fun film, so those looking to watch an action-filled monster adventure are bound to find huge satisfaction.

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About the Contributor
Brady Crow
Brady Crow, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Brady Crow is a senior for the 2023-2024 school year.  He's a Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Uproar this year and is excited for the opportunity to write and read many fascinating articles.  When not writing for the Uproar, Brady enjoys working at his church, going to the gym, and taking care of his pet lizard.

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