The Skar King of Hollow Earth

Godzilla x Kong The New Empire

Director: Adam Wingard

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

Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

In the ambitious sequel to the 2021 monster film Godzilla vs Kong, director Adam Wingard returns as director for the 2024 film titled Godzilla x Kong The New Empire and deftly expands the storyline of Kaylee Hottle’s character Jia whose foster mother Irene Andrews is once again played by British star Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Frost Nixon, The Prestige).

Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens (I am Your Man, Blithe Spirit, Beauty and the Beast) is added to the cast as the goofy Titan veterinarian Trapper, all bravado and hippie vibes as he expertly extracts a broken tooth from an anesthetized King Kong after Kong snapped a front tooth after eating a primordial creature in the Hollow Earth, his natural reclusive playground which appears to contain more subterranean secrets which are revealed later in the film’s sprawling narrative.

Oscar nominee Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway) stars as fanatical Titan podcaster Bernie Hayes who relishes the opportunity to team up with Andrews and Trapper as they have to figure out the strange symbols that Jia has been receiving, which reveals a distress signal from a lost ancient civilization.

While the human interest angle of the narrative fades very quickly in favour of the gigantic monsters, it really is Kong and Godzilla who take centre stage in this CGI effects laden sequel which is truly spectacular as the two beasts lure each other to exotic geographical landmarks like the pyramids outside Cairo and to the Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro. Godzilla after nestling comfortably in the ancient ruins of the Colosseum in Rome is awakened as he senses Kong’s presence but this time it is not for combat but to unite against a far greater threat.

The new threat appears as the Skar King of Hollow Earth, a malicious ape that has a massive following who is planning on using Shimo, an ancient ice powered Titan, Godzilla’s nemesis to threaten the delicately balanced status quo between Monarch’s worlds.

With Jia discovering her natural tribe and the humans trying to survive amidst the gigantic battle between Kong and the Skar King, Godzilla x Kong The New Empire is a stunning, visually exciting special effects feast of monster battles, fantastic creatures and an epic battle of Titans.

While Godzilla is embedded in Japanese cultural mythology cemented recently by the 2024 Oscar win for Best Visual Effects for the Japanese language film Godzilla Minus One, Kong gets amble opportunity to explore his territory and origins as he navigates a Planet of the Apes inspired Hollow Earth environment. In this film, Kong steals the show.

In Godzilla x Kong The New Empire both beasts get ample screen time even with the radioactive Godzilla emerging out of the ocean in Rio with a pink glow. This monster fantasy film definitely has a specific fan base and if you belong to the tribe that loves Godzilla films and Japanese Anime then you will thoroughly enjoy this 2024 sequel which remains tantalizing, exciting and filled with colossal action.

Godzilla x Kong The New Empire gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and definitely see it on the big screen, preferably in Imax 3D.

Recommended viewing as the first big action film, eagerly starting off the 2024 summer blockbuster season.

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