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Godzilla x Kong – The New Empire  (12) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir. Adam Wingard, US, 2024, 115 mins

Cast:  Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens, Brian Tyree Henry, Kaylee Hottle

Review by Carol Allen

Despite sharing star billing in the title, this is very much Kong’s movie.  Godzilla doesn’t really come into his own until the climactic battle the audience has been waiting for, when the two titans of the “MonsterVerse” join forces to save the world from extinction.

Early in the film Kong makes contact with the human race again when he is suffering from raging toothache and it’s down to Dan Stevens as Trapper, channeling the young Jeff Bridges in the long ago 1976 King Kong remake movie, to conduct a bit of tricky  dentistry on the big guy with the help of some mountain climbing tackle. 

Trapper, along with Rebecca Hall as Ilene, doing her best to fill in the story so far for the benefit of those like me who missed the last movie, Ilene’s adopted daughter Jia (Kaylee Hottle), who has a link to Kong from Skull Island days and enthusiastic vlogger Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry) join the great gorilla in Hollow Earth, an ancient subterranean ecosystem, close to the planet’s core, which looks a lot like the rainforest of the Amazon. 

Here Kong and friends encounter what appear to be survivors of an early template for humanity and Kong discovers his inner parent, when he finds himself looking after a cute baby ape, whose googly eyes are reminiscent of Gollum in “Lord of the Rings”.  In another big fight screen he rescues more of his kind, who appear to be enslaved by Scar King, a big bully ape wielding a scary chain, which looks like it might be made from the bones of those he has killed.  

On the human side Jia discovers more about the ancient civilisation to which her past is linked and finally the group encounters that big threat to humanity, which causes Godzilla and Kong to join forces and save the world.   In fact it’s just one wildly impressive special effects sequence after another, with some dialogue in between while we wait for the next action scenes.  

One is though left wondering what Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, directors of the original King Kong back in 1933 would make of it.  All they had to work with was early stop frame animation of a gorilla puppet and a tiny replica of the Empire State Building, yet they still managed to scare the wits out of their audience.  Would they be lost in envy and admiration for what can now be achieved or would they think that perhaps the skills of the special effects merchants have overwhelmed the art of storytelling?

Titans Combine Forces for the Ultimate Team-up when the Action-packed Adventure Becomes Available for Purchase and Rental  Debuts for

Premium Digital Ownership and Rental on May 13

4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD arrive on June 24 

5-Film 4K UHD Collector’s Edition Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Monsterverse Also Available this Summer


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire 4K UHD and Blu-ray contain the following special features:  

·     GxK: Day of Reckoning

·     Evolution of the Titans: Godzilla Evolved

·     Evolution of the Titans: From Lonely God to King

·     Journey to the Center of Hollow Earth: Visualizing Hollow Earth

·     Journey to the Center of Hollow Eart: Monsters of Hollow Earth

·     The Battles Royale: A Titanic Fight Among the Pyramids

·     The Battles Royale: The Zero Gravity Battle

·     The Battles Royale: The Titans Trash Rio

·     The Intrepid Director: Adam Wingard: Big Kid

·     The Intrepid Director: Adam Wingard: Set Tour

·     The Imagination Department

·     The Monarch Island Base: Portal to Another World

·     The Evolution of Jia: From Orphan to Warrior

·     Bernie’s World: Behind the Triple Locked Door

·     Commentary by Director Adam Wingard, Visual Effects Supervisor Alessandro Ongaro, Production Designer Tom Hammock and Editor Josh Schaeffer


Premium Digital Ownership: May 13, 2024

4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Street Date: June 24, 2024

4K Languages: English, Castilian Spanish, Parisian French, Castilian Spanish

4K Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Parisian French, Swedish

BD Languages: English, Castilian Spanish, Italian

BD Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

DVD Languages: English, Castilian Spanish

DVD Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Running Time: 115 minutes 4K UHD and Blu-ray / 110 minutes DVD

Rating: 12


4K UHD and Blu-ray: ATMOS TrueHD, DLBY/DGTL

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