Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray)

Two ancient titans, Godzilla and Kong, clash in an epic battle as humans unravel their intertwined origins and connection to Skull Island's mysteries.

June 20, 2024 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I’m not sure what’s going on with this “Monsterverse.” I guess Warner is trying to do with King Kong and Godzilla just as they’ve done with The Conjuring (and all of its spin-offs). Or not. I simply don’t know. I don’t think there’s any connection to Peter Jackson’s 2005 version (one I liked) and if there is, it hasn’t really been explained. Nevertheless, here we are. There are essentially two ways you can approach this film. One is looking at it as it is – a movie. Movies have plots, character arcs and so on. The other way you can look at it is an excuse to turn up the volume on your receiver, have your jaw drop while looking at whatever it was that was happening on the screen and then scream “Yeah!” as loud as you can. I chose the first version. But, looking back, perhaps I should have had a bit more fun with this? Regardless, we’ve got yet another Kong and Godzilla movie. What city will be destroyed this time?

We find Kong, now living in Hollow Earth (that’s to say, the center of the planet). And we also find that Godzilla is above ground, curled up inside the Colisseum in Rome. Isn’t that nice? Dr. Andrews (Rebecca Hall) has an eyebrow raise when she detects some seismic activity coming from Kong’s realm. So she assembles a team that includes Trapper (Dan Stevens), a “dentist” of sorts as well as Bernie (Brian Tyree Henry), one of those conspiracy theory podcasters. They somehow figure out how to get to Hollow Earth only to fid out that the “seismic activity” is actually a call for help as the Skar King is attempting to ruin everyone’s, er…everything’s day.

So, there ya go. This movie does have a plot, but it’s also got as many plot holes that you can dream of. But we won’t go there. In essence, this is more of the same and as I said earlier – this movie has an audience. I just don’t want to be any part of it. There’s another Godzilla movie that’s much more character-driven, Godzilla Minus One – check that out instead. And if Kong is your thing, check out the original. Or the 1970’s version. Or the 2005 version. While not totally unwatchable, it can either be fun or a waste of nearly two hours of your life. That’s your decision to make.

Video: How’s it look?

Let’s face it, both Kong and Godzilla have had their respective films and they’ve both looked great. That’s the case here as well when we pit these two behemoths against one another.  The use of practical and CGI effects throughout make this seem more realistic than other films of this nature. It’s like we’re observing the destruction through a peephole (if that makes sense, if not bear with me). The entire film seems to have a  darker tone to it. Flesh tones seem warm and natural, but the detail is where this film excels. Though it’s not quite as crystal clear and sharp as I’d have liked, I really have no complaints with how this appears.

Audio: How’s it sound?

We get a full on Dolby Atmos track that certainly delivers. I wish more studios would adopt this policy as it seems fairer to the consumer. On one hand, the consumer who pays more might get a better-looking picture, but that shouldn’t sacrifice the audio quality. Nevertheless, that’s not the case here, and the included Atmos track is everything we’d expect it to be – and more. Vocals are rich, crisp and pure, surrounds are never-ending and offer tons of atmospheric ambiance. The LFE are constant as well and if you’ve been wondering what it’d look like to hear various cities destroyed by two beasts – you’ll have an inclination as of what to expect.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Audio Commentary Director Adam Wingard, Visual Effects Supervisor Alessandro Ongaro, Production Designer Tom Hammock, and Editor Josh Schaeffer collaborate for this track that’s fact-filled and does shed some light on the film’s, uh…”thinner” moments. I’ll never listen to it again, but it was nice to have nonetheless.
  • GxK: Day of Reckoning – If you’re confused as to what’s going on with the “Monsterverse”, this is a crash course to ge you back on track.
  • Evolution of the Titans
    • Godzilla EvolvedWe get a look at some of the physical changes that have happened to Godzilla since we last saw him.
    • From Lonely God to KingEssentially the same as above, only with Kong.
  • Into the Hollow Earth
    • Visualizing Hollow EarthI don’t think there really is a Hollow Earth and if there is, I don’t want to go there. Alas, we’re treated to some of the visuals that helped shape it.
    • Monsters of Hollow EarthEssentially, this feature focuses on all of the creatures we find in Hollow Earth.
  • The Battles Royale:
    • A Titanic Fight Among the Pyramids If you’ve ever wanted to know all there was about the fight at the pyramids – look no further.
    • The Zero Gravity BattleEffectively the same as above, only. this time in the “zero gravity” arena.
    • The Titans Trash RioAh, Rio – one of Earth’s most beautiful cities…until Kong and Godzilla got their paws on it.
  • The Intrepid Director
    • Big KidA short piece in which praise is lauded upon the director.
    • Set TourWingard gives us his perspective as he wanders around the set.
  • The Imagination Department – We get some visuals that served as the inspiration for some of the film.
  • The Monarch Island Base: Portal to Another World – A look at the base and some of its inspiration.
  • The Evolution of Jia: From Orphan to Warrior – A focus on Jia’s character.
  • Bernie’s World: Behind the Triple Locked Door – A tour of Bernie’s apartment set.

The Bottom Line

As I alluded to at the beginning of the review, there are two ways you can look at this film: as an action, “I don’t care about plot” movie or one that you try to make sense of. I was in the latter camp. I know this film has its audience, just not me. That aside, the disc is packed with supplements and provides reference-level audio and video. For those that love this sort of thing, you’ll be in heaven.

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