KSL Movie Show review: ‘Godzilla x Kong’ would have been better with more story, less flash

Mar 29, 2024, 7:30 AM

"Godzilla x Kong" could have gone without a number of special effects....

"Godzilla x Kong" should have ditched the visual fluff and remembered to tell a better story.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Let’s start off with a little math, shall we?

It turns out GODZILLA MINUS ONE is greater than GODZILLA (X) multiplied by KONG. The only way that can be is if Kong is zero, which he isn’t, so what gives?

Simply put, the Japanese version of Godzilla Minus One that came out mid-December of last year is far superior to the Americanized Godzilla X Kong that comes out this weekend, because Minus One focuses on the monster’s interaction with developed characters, while GxK focuses much more on the special effects and the characters are there to react to those effects.

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So since Godzilla vs. Kong (2021), Kong has been left to hang out in Hollow Earth, while Godzilla rests up on the surface in the Roman coliseum, like a massive puppy in a dog bed. Cute-ish.

However, a mysterious signal is being sent out, that Kong, the humans and Godzilla react to, but only the titans know what it means and they are taking it very seriously. We also know now that the young girl, Jia (Kaylee Hottle) who communicates with Kong through sign language, is living with Dr. Andrews (Rebecca Hall) as her adopted daughter. Bernie the blogger (Brian Tyree Henry) is back as the nerdy researcher who helps with the pseudoscience of it all, while newcomer Trapper (Dan Stevens) is a swashbuckling veterinarian to the big stars, helping with their over-sized medical needs.

But before all the action works itself into a frenzy, Kong is basically bored, tired and lonely. He’s come to accept the fact that he’s the only one of his kind and spends his days fighting off other predators, like the hybrid Hyenas that are very much interested in turning him into monkey meat.

Eventually, he stumbles into another subterranean area, where he meets other giant apes and one particularly cute little ape who doesn’t know if he can trust Kong and vice versa. In the meantime, Godzilla is making stops around the world, to gather additional atomic energy to have the strength to take on whatever awaits them and now shockingly the two titans will be forced to team up, like odd-couple buddy cops since they can’t handle the situation separately.

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After that, it turns into a free-for-all as the ape takes the water dragon, the lizard bests pink monster, and old, cranky chief ape Skar controls another beast on a chain and they switch it up and do it all over again, while the humans explain things and try to get out of the way.

Yes, there are some decent special effects, and yes the filmmaker tries to give his human cast some personality, but the non-stop, splashy action just started to run together like a psychedelic, neon-tinted kaleidoscope. It needed a more coherent story — and less dazzle.

GODZILLA X KONG: A NEW EMPIRE (C) Rated PG-13 for creature violence and action. Starring Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Dan Stevens and Kaylee Hottle. Directed by Adam Wingard (“Godzilla vs. Kong” “V/H/S” – filmed primarily in Queensland, Australia. Running time: 155 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘Godzilla x Kong’ would have been better with more story, less flash