Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire review – another bout of monster stupidity

<span>Old foes warm up in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.</span><span>Photograph: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/AP</span>
Old foes warm up in Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.Photograph: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/AP

This sequel to the big monkey versus big lizard smackdown (2021’s Godzilla vs Kong) finds Kong moping in Hollow Earth while Godzilla listlessly lumbers around the surface world. But it would take more than a geologically improbable parallel dimension to keep these two apart, and returning director Adam Wingard ups the ante with yet more huge, furious creatures. Rebecca Hall, as titan specialist Ilene, is mainly required to explain the plot between battle sequences; Brian Tyree Henry, playing monster-blogger Bernie, provides incredulous double-takes; Dan Stevens’s Trapper brings Hawaiian shirts and devil-may-care rashness to the mix. Dumbed-down and stripped of the symbolic subtext of the earlier movies, the picture is not without seat-shuddering thrills, but it’s like a tag-team wrestling bout for monsters rather than a picture with meaning and even a modicum of thought.