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Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Movie Review – 2024-03-30 03:10:57

Monkey Kong is back and he’s tearing everything in his path in half. He last burst into theaters alongside the monster Godzilla three years ago in the first big-budget film after the pandemic hiatus. At that time, he showed viewers dependent on the aesthetics of Netflix and other platforms what Hollywood is in all its beauty and monstrosity.

Now the overgrown op rushes through an underground realm referring to old scrap science fiction and cups prehistoric monsters that ooze hectoliters of slime. The film called Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is showing in Czech cinemas from Thursday.

In the latest stories about Godzilla, the Japanese filmmakers rather return to a gloomy melodramatic narrative about social trauma and the effects of nuclear weapons, thereby updating the original film by director Ishiro Honda from 1954. The last time this was shown was the excellent Godzilla Minus One, which at the end of last year made an undeserved noise in Czech cinemas and this month she won an Oscar for stunts.

Hollywood also took the latest reboot of the Godzilla saga a little more seriously. The film directed by Gareth Edwards from 2014 took the perspective of people aside, but all the more seriously it followed the opulent clashes of giant monsters as representatives of forces that transcend our perception.

However, since that moment, American creators have increasingly followed up on the carefree B-movie aesthetic, which was first brought to this “monster universe” by the third part of the original Japanese franchise King Kong vs Godzilla from 1962.

The latest addition continues on a path already started by 2017’s Kong: Skull Island and 2019’s Godzilla II: King of the Monsters, which continued to mix burnt-out junk aesthetics with more serious themes like the trauma of war. Only Godzilla vs. The Kong of 2021 ordered the audience to hand over the brain to the vault during this clash between the two monsters. He plunged headlong into a crazy adventure in which things like plot or characters are secondary matters.

The new movie puts people behind. Pictured are Rebecca Hall as Dr. Ilene Andrews and Dan Stevens as Trapper. | Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Dvojka” with the subtitle New Empire continues and dares even more. As soon as in the opening sequence the ape Kong triumphantly tears apart the body of a kind of saber-toothed wolf above his head and the entire body is covered in floods of toxic green slime, it is clear that the game will not be played on a serious note.

The film further backs the human characters known from the previous part. Which is good, because, for example, a podcaster, a lover of conspiracies and a sava who is said to cure all problems, was not quite the ideal prototype of a folk hero who helps even where governments fail.

The creators humanize the digital monsters all the more, giving them facial expressions and emotions, and in the gaudy world below the surface of the earth, where a large part of the action takes place, they use perhaps a complete palette of glowing, even poisonous color shades. Compared to the old-fashioned poetics of the other current monster series Monarch: Legacy of the Monsters, which is more like an adventure in the spirit of Indiana Jones, the new film is a dive into pure audiovisual madness. Forget the slowly building tension, the character work. It’s just a matter of how many monsters will appear here and what form their mutual interaction will take.

The plot, which probably doesn’t need to be discussed in detail, revolves around a new threat that Kong and Godzilla will eventually face together. The film thus features other members of the canon of this genre, which in Japan is called kaiju eiga, especially the overgrown radioactive moth Mothra.

Most of the fun of encounters lies in the ingenuity of the creators of what they can do. So the monsters, using wrestling grips, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and radioactive flames shooting out of their mouths, demolish big cities and fantastic prehistoric landscapes inside the earth.

The movie Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is showing in Czech cinemas from Thursday. | Video: Vertical Entertainment

Digital Whirlwind, which wants to be a celebration of bizarre, B-grade, but at the core very free-spirited corners of fantasy, ultimately fails. And it just feels like more and more of the same computer-generated craziness, even if Kong and his little baby monkey sidekick add some emotion to it at times.

The director of the film, Adam Wingard, relies mainly on exaggeration and making attractions. He completely abandons the human scale. The people here are just staff and everything rests on the hairy or horny shoulders of monkey and lizard giants.

Instead of the clumsy cuteness of rubber-suited actors clumsily stomping on models of cities in old Japanese movies, come artificial digital trick smiles on the “faces” of monsters. But you don’t get the feeling that this is the face of light-hearted genre Hollywood entertainment of the future.

A comparison is offered. Director Michael Bay in his often unfairly mocked Transformers saga still finds original ways to connect the world of humans and monsters or to develop a radical aesthetic that relies purely on design and movement. For example, the megalomaniacal fifth installment Transformers: The Last Knight from 2017 was an absolute victory of design over story with all the pros and cons. But at the same time, it was hard to ignore the shot in which the robot monster vomits on a police car and it turns into another Transformer, while the whole thing is shot like a ballet of hundreds of metal parts.

Last year’s last installment of Transformers then combined this bizarre, extreme aesthetic with a moving story of two boys from a black ghetto to the sounds of rap from the 90s of the last century.

In that light, the new Godzilla vs. Kong only with a dull reflection, although he also tries to beat the viewer with audiovisual sensations. Michael Bay took the audience on a pilgrimage to the most remarkable, if perhaps dead end, in Hollywood storytelling. Godzilla and Kong, in their bright, crazy thrashing, rather move on relatively safe ground, where the joy of amusingly futile fighting is mixed with fatigue, oversaturation and exhaustion.

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