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FILM REVIEW: GODZILLA X KONG – THE NEW EMPIRE (12A) ESP RATING: 3/5



This fifth film in the MonsterVerse franchise proves to be another fun outing that does exactly what’s expected – by providing high-octane monstrous thrills - if very little more. Bar a quite inconceivably preposterous storyline.


But there’s absolutely no doubting the main feature that the producers are focused on – which is Kong.



Despite Godzilla’s name being first in the movie’s title, there’s no doubting who they see as the lead player in the series.


And humans are clearly an afterthought. Just simple pawns in the battles of destruction. Even though the introduction of Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast) – sensational in the likes of The Guest – does add an element of acting gravitas.



He stars as Titan veterinarian Trapper, alongside returnees from 2021’s Godzilla vs Kong, such as Kaylee Hottle’s young last Iwi tribe (from Skull Island) survivor Jia, her adoptive mother Dr Irene Andrews (Iron Man 3’s Rebecca Hall), and designated ‘comic relief’ in the form of Bryan Tyree Henry’s (Bullet Train) conspiracy podcaster Bernie Hayes.



After defeating Mechagodzilla, mighty giant gorilla King Kong has established his territory in the Hollow Earth, while on Earth’s surface, atomic-breathing prehistoric kaiju Godzilla continues to maintain order between humanity and giant monsters known as ‘Titans’ – despite causing trillions of pounds of damage in his wake when he’s called upon.



When a Monarch outpost picks up an anomaly, the humans of the story head to Hollow Earth to investigate, with Godzilla absorbing radiation in anticipation of a battle, and Kong discovering an unchartered location.



This leads to Kong encountering a similar species to his own – taking juvenile gorilla Suko under his wing in the process – which leads him into a showdown with another massive ape, the Skar King, who once attempted to invade the surface world.


And he now plans to do it again with the aid of the ancient ice-powered Titan, Shimo, whom the Skar King controls.



This ultimately leads to Kong and Godzilla teaming up to try and save mankind – with heroic sentient larva Mothra thrown in for good measure. The last third is basically a massive monster-bashing fest as the humans are relegated to the background.


Which is kind of fun, if you like doing the monster mash...

 

ESP Rating: 3/5

 

Gavin Miller

 



Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: Rebecca Hall, Bryan Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens, Kaylee Hottle, Rachel House, Fala Chen & Alex Ferns

Running Time: 1 Hr 55 Mins

Director: Adam Wingard

 

Go to www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux

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