Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Reviews Are Here And We’re Not Surprised

By Douglas Helm | Published

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire hits theaters this weekend, and the critic reviews are pouring in. And – it’s pretty much what you’d expect. If you want a silly, big-budget monster battle movie, you’re going to get exactly what you want.

A Monsterous Team-Up

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is currently sitting with a “Fresh” 62 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and pretty much all of the reviews are in agreement. G. Allen Johnson of the San Francisco Chronicle perhaps summed it up best, saying, “Godzilla x Kong is exactly as you’d expect it to be: a popcorn movie with special effects that are better imagined than Marvel movies, rip-roarin’ action, and monsters, monsters, monsters,” adding, “It does its job.” So, if you like special effects and big monsters, you can’t go wrong. 

More Titan Battles Less Humans

The fact that the highly acclaimed and Oscar-winning Godzilla Minus One is still fresh in people’s minds means that Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has some expectations to live up to. As Caryn James from BBC.com points out in a more mixed review, “For fans longing to see Titans, as the Monsterverse creatures are called, go at each other ­­– again and again and again – it’s fine,” adding, “For anyone else, it’s just another Kong movie, with Godzilla himself a kind of sideshow.” So, if you were hoping for the human drama and stakes that made Godzilla Minus One so special, you’re better served just seeing that movie again.

A Change In Tone From Minus One

Of course, that’s not always what people want out of their monster movies, as Lupe Rodriguez Haas from Cinemovie.tv notes, “Luckily, the human drama is kept at a minimum,” adding, “Here the Titans take on human characteristics which is a bit hokey but it’s in the tradition of the campy Japanese Godzilla movies.” Haas also makes the astute observation, “True Godzilla fans won’t mind the shift in tone.” So, if you’re someone who just loves Godzilla movies no matter what form they take, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire should be plenty enjoyable for you.

A Simple Crowd-Pleasing Movie

Amon Warmann of Empire Magazine tempers expectations for anyone hoping for something super original but notes that Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire has plenty of thrills, saying, “This doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and keeps you waiting too long for the final showdown — but when the creatures collide, it still delivers satisfying thrills.” Finally, Soren Anderson from the Seattle Times succinctly concluded, “Look, with that pairing, you know what you’re going to get,” adding, “And in this picture you get it.” 

Serious And Campy Movies Can Exist In the Same Franchise

Godzilla vs. Kong

As many people have pointed out, including Godzilla Minus One director Takashi Yamazaki, there is plenty of room for both serious Godzilla films that harken to the nuclear allegories of the original and big goofy monster bashes. Both Toho and Legendary have flip-flopped in tone making Godzilla films, and Godzilla fans are definitely getting fed this year with a heaping helping of both types of films. We got one of the best Godzilla movies of all time last year, and now we’re getting a silly and fun-filled monster showdown this year with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

A Great Year For Godzilla Fans

Legendary is even playing both sides of the fandom, as its 2023 Apple TV series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters definitely leaned much more into the human stakes of Godzilla stories. So, you can get more serious, human-driven projects like Legacy of Monsters and Godzilla Minus One alongside Godzilla x Kong: A New Empire, all in the same 12-month period. It’s hard for kaiju fans to be too disappointed about that.