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Godzilla x Kong? In THIS Economy?


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By: Isaac P. Ale
March 30, 2024

Godzilla and King Kong Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire [2024]

Film

Ok so here's the deal.

Originally, my big plan was to check out Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire and make a companion piece to my wildly famous (read: not at all famous) 2021 Godzilla v. Kong article. Instead of diving into the meat of the film, I decided it was a more noble effort to guesstimate how much economic damage Kong, Godzilla, and Mecha Godzilla caused. Spoiler, it was a lot. But I ran into quite the hiccup with this new addition. Best laid plans, right? The issue being within the first five minutes of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Godzilla absolutely yeets the Pantheon into oblivion. Reducing the monument to human history and culture to nothing but a pile of rubble.

Sure I made up an amount of money for Mecha Godzilla based on a giant Gundum robot in Japan for the first article but it's not the same! There's absolutely no way I can even conceive of a value for such an artifact. Now of course if you're thinking that the destruction of the Pantheon is only one minuscule part of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire and there must be more to consider. Then I regret to inform you that your expectations are simply too high.

Adam Wingard's second entry in the Monsterverse is an incoherent mess that seeks to vaporize whatever the VFX team can CGI on the screen. The sequel builds upon the ending of the first film, with some additional mythology sprinkled in. Extra factoids such as Kong patrolling Hollow Earth for any remaining kin while Godzilla meanders on the surface, unfurling a wrath of nuclear fire on whatever other titans infringe on his territory.

But that's about all that's similar with the preceding film. Whatever worked in Godzilla v. Kong, was not carried over to the follow up feature. Where Godzilla, Kong and Mecha Godzilla's big fight soared was in the marriage of camera angles, CGI, and sound mixing. Mecha Godzilla's arm thrust forward from the roar of rockets, the revving of Godzilla's atomic breath, and the camera following Kong's movements were all fun aspects that I thoroughly enjoyed. Meanwhile, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire throws that all out the window with a frantic first half that has more camera tilt than can be tolerated. Combined with editing that removes all shock and awe of these giant creatures fighting, you're looking at furious blurs as opposed to intricate visuals. I'm not one to get motion sick very easily if at all, but I found myself immediately nauseous with some of the camera tracking and fight scenes early on.

Godzilla and Kong in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire [2024]

A consistent complaint about these types of movies is how the director, cinematographer and VFX team can establish their scales of space and time. Giant monsters need to feel giant. This is a huge reason that the 2014 Godzilla is appreciated a bit more, due to Gareth Edwards respect of scale (also seen in The Creator). Faltering here proves to be devastating because I don't feel these monsters destroying buildings, laying waste to half of Rio de Janeiro. Instead they look to be rolling around in a playground, throwing buildings at each other or crossing massive spaces in split seconds to cover any sort of disparity in the story. But the same applies for the human characters, where Trapper (Dan Stevens) is able to hop in a ship, fly to some far away outpost, grab something and come back in what looks and feels like a fraction of a second. It renders all of the adventure moot and shrinks the world that Wingard is trying to create to a tiny model as opposed to an expansive ecosystem.

I can however, appreciate some of the audacious choices Wingard made. Bigger, more sophisticated action pieces, and most importantly reeling back the human element of the story. The characters outside of giant monsters are massive roadblocks in these recent films. They hinder the story more than anything and are present for the simple purpose of narrating why Kong is romping around in Hollow Earth, or why Godzilla is swimming to the Arctic. Outside of narration, most of the lines written for Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Stevens are distracting attempts for humor or deus ex machina revelations.

Stacking up all of these choices, along with a few out of place needle drops, builds a messy tower just waiting to collapse. Or be decimated by giant fighting monsters. While Godzilla v. Kong had some strong qualities, Wingard seems to have lost control in the new sequel. Resulting in a mashup of messy CGI, camera work, editing, and writing which equates to a tough film to watch.

Froth

When Godzilla isn't galavanting around the world, thrashing other titans, he spends his days napping like anybody else would. Except, Godzilla curls up into a little ball and naps in the Colosseum. Unlike anybody else would. Wingard explains this choice was inspired by his cat Mischief so its only right that this beer pairing pays tribute to my local brewery cat. Simcoe, is the adorable titan roaming Bickersons Brewhouse, making sure everyone knows that you can in fact, drink beer and pet her at the same time.

What's great about highlighting Bickersons Brewhouse due to Simcoe is that they also have fantastic beer. I could opt for something extravagant to match Wingard's audacity, but since Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is a light hollow shell of a film I think something light is the best choice. The Seriously Delayed Arrival is an Italian Pilsner that's refreshing and wonderfully hopped. Using perle and saphir hops, dry hopped for that Italian Pilsner style, provides a delightful citrus and lemongrass aroma. Additionally the slight spicy flavor from the saphir brings a great edge to a nice, light pilsner.

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