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On the heels of the Oscar-winning success of the Japanese outing Godzilla Minus One and the Apple TV+ series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, fans might be craving something more goofy and fun in a kaiju film, or they could be disappointed by the lack of seriousness in the latest Monsterverse outing. Either way, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire delivers what’s expected, according to the movie’s first reviews. Critics either hate its dumb mayhem or enjoy its mindless spectacle, but they’re mostly saying the same thing: if you want to watch Titans going at it, crushing landmarks and ignoring human life as they save the world more than destroy it, then you can’t do much better than this fantastical sequel.

Here’s what critics are saying about Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire:


Where does Godzilla x Kong rank within the Monsterverse?

The most enjoyable MonsterVerse movie yet.
Ian Sandwell, Digital Spy

It’s the best of [Godzilla and Kong’s] canonical team-ups, and easily the most entertaining film in the Legendary Monsterverse.
William Bibbiani, The Wrap

GxK is second only to the under-appreciated Godzilla: King of the Monsters among the Warner/Legendary reboot of these venerable characters.
Alonso Duralde, The Film Verdict

Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard brings more fun to Legendary’s Monsterverse in his second kaiju outing.
Lupe Rodriguez Haas, CineMovie.tv

I still prefer Godzilla vs. Kong but Adam Wingard’s follow-up remains a decent, fun entry in the Monsterverse franchise.
Casey Chong, Casey’s Movie Mania

While not quite matching the face-smashing fun of its predecessor, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire manages to quicken the pace even more, which is a welcome turn away from a pair of sequels that suffered from including too many uninteresting human characters.
Andrew Parker, The Gate

After a roaring return to cinematic glory with Godzilla vs. Kong, the MonsterVerse’s creative aims are quickly waning with a subpar sequel.
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction


GODZILLA and KONG in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure GODZILLA x KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE (2024)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

How are the kaiju battles?

Unlike many of the previous American kaiju movies, GxK wisely intersperses the monster action throughout; the movie still saves its best melees for the last 20 minutes or so, but at least it enlivens the wait involved to get there.
Alonso Duralde, The Film Verdict

Adam Wingard knows how to choreograph a beastie battle so that it does maximum damage in a way that appeals to your inner toy-smashing seven-year-old.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

The climax of The New Empire somehow bests the final fights from Godzilla vs. Kong, and it’s capable of jolting even the most jaded moviegoer to their feet.
Dominic Griffin, Looper.com

The power struggle that emerges between Kong and Skar King is beautifully rendered, and that it’s all communicated effectively sans dialogue is a testament to Weta’s increasingly impressive visual-effects work.
Amon Warmann, Empire Magazine

When Kong and Godzilla share the screen, it’s great; however, they barely do.
Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky


Kong in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Does the film make us care about these creatures?

To the filmmakers’ credit, they manage to lend the proceedings something resembling an emotional arc, with Kong movingly displaying more relatable emotions than many of today’s overpaid human stars.
Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

This movie shows more of Kong’s vulnerable emotions.
Carla Hay, Culture Mix

Here the Titans take on human characteristics which is a bit hokey but it’s in the tradition of the campy Japanese Godzilla movies.
Lupe Rodriguez Haas, CineMovie.tv

While we understand the importance of exploring the background of certain characters so that we can learn more about them, diving into the history of the Titans does not warrant as much time as it is given.
Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky


Dan Stevens, Rebecca Hall, and Kaylee Hottle in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

(Photo by Daniel McFadden/©Warner Bros.)

How are the human characters?

The standout once again is Kaylee Hottle, now a teenager, who brings compassion and a strong presence to the screen. Jia’s connection with Kong is still the heart of the story. Dan Stevens also brings joy to the movie as an eccentric scientist with a goofy side.
Lupe Rodriguez Haas, CineMovie.tv

It’s nice to see the often-underused Stevens in an uncomplicated hero role, and he’s the most memorable human in the film.
Chris Bumbray, JoBlo’s Movie Network

Stevens’s laid-back vibes are an especially good fit for a world where human casualties aren’t taken all that seriously. And though she could have done with a little more screentime, Hall ekes out every moment of substance she can.
Amon Warmann, Empire Magazine

Hall and Hottle are effective as the grounded human characters, and Henry and Stevens get a chance to cut loose and crack wise. Their efforts are succinct but great.
Andrew Parker, The Gate

It would be nice to report that great actors like Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Dan Stevens were given interesting things to do, but they aren’t. They’re here to class up the joint, have a little fun and collect their well-deserved paychecks.
William Bibbiani, The Wrap


Godzilla in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Does the plot even matter?

While that plot is often total nonsense it’s nonsense in service of making monsters fight each other while looking awesome. If this be malarky there is method in it.
William Bibbiani, The Wrap

Those who find comfort in not asking a lot of questions and simply watching lots of pretty colors and things blowing up real good will have a good time with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.
Andrew Parker, The Gate


GODZILLA and KONG in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure GODZILLA x KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE (2024)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Is this just a bit of mindless entertainment?

It’s not high art. It doesn’t have to be high art. But it all looks pretty great and it captures the feeling being a kid playing with a bottomless toy box.
Andrew Parker, The Gate

A welcome reminder that there’s nothing wrong with being fun and ridiculous… It’s no small compliment to say that Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is expertly crafted drivel.
William Bibbiani, The Wrap

You can’t get away from the fact that it’s all a bit ludicrous, even down to the concept that the world now just has to deal with regular Titan attacks. But everybody involved is now in on the joke, rather than attempting to make Godzilla x Kong something that it isn’t.
Ian Sandwell, Digital Spy

If you’re simply looking for a film that features oversized creatures punching each other in the face for 115 minutes, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is going to give you everything you want. Is it good? No. But is it entertaining? Yup!
Joe Lipsett, Queer.Horror.Movies


Image from Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Will it leave us excited for Monsterverse movies?

GxK both lays the groundwork for more sequels and makes the possibility of such sequels seem welcome.
Alonso Duralde, The Film Verdict

If the series is to continue, and there seems little doubt that it will, the human characters are going to have to be treated with the same loving attention as the monsters.
Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter




62%


Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
(2024)
opens in theaters on March 29, 2024.


Thumbnail image by Warner Bros.
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