Powered-Up GODZILLA x KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE Romps onto Feature-Packed 4K Blu-ray

The images in the article are illustrative only and not intended to demonstrate the picture of 4K or Blu-ray home video releases.

Ten years deep into Legendary’s kaiju-packed “Monsterverse” consisting of several films and an AppleTV series, the films have arrived at an interesting and fun place. The last film introduced the discovery of a “Hollow Earth”, inspired by Jules Verne and sharing characteristics with the novel Godzilla at Earth’s End. Kong and Godzilla share a sort of truce and tend to stay out of each others’ way, with Kong having returned to his ancestral home at the earth’s core, and Godzilla staying close to the surface, mostly in his preferred oceanic habitat – when he’s not settling in for a nap in the Roman Colosseum.

Legendary Entertainment / Warner Bros

The films in this universe have varied in their stye and level of seriousness, and GxK definitely falls on the lighter and sillier side of the scale: a great monster-battling romp set largely at the center of the earth.

Over the course of the films many human characters have weaved in and out of the narrative as needed, rightly secondary to the big guys. GxK features a smaller human cast than most of the other films, bringing back only a handful of returning characters: Teenager Jia (Keylee Hottle), the last of the Iwi people from Skull Island who shares a special bond with Kong, scientist Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall) who is Jia’s adoptive mother, and brilliant podcaster/conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Bryan Tyree Henry). Dan Stevens also joins the cast as another scientist who works alongside Ilene, a cheery biologist whose career path has veered into “kaiju veterinarian”. When a series of mysterious signals are found to originate from Hollow Earth, the team heads down to find their source.

Meanwhile, a lonely Kong continues to search the Hollow Earth – a domain far larger and wilder than what we’ve seen previously – for his ancestral race. He eventually does find a remnant of Great Apes, including a precocious youngster whom he takes under his wing, but it’s not a happy reunion: their situation is dire, enslaved and lorded over by a cruel ruler dubbed “Skar King” – a formidable opponent who commands a Shimo, a dragon-like kaiju with devastating ice breath.

Legendary Entertainment / Warner Bros

Yep, we’re gonna need a team-up.

GxK doesn’t take itself too seriously and is clearly setting out to just have a blast. Godzilla powers up and gets a new fluorescent look, and after being hurt in battle, Kong is fitted with a prosthetic metal arm designed to sell action figures.

Kong’s team-up with Godzilla is obviously a fun dynamic, but maybe even better is his run-in with Suko, the precocious “mini Kong” who starts out trying to kill the big guy before becoming his companion – hinting at an adoptive a setup that may be intended to hold up a mirror to the relationship between Jia and Ilene.

Legendary Entertainment / Warner Bros

Additionally, the film has settled on some of its more interesting and fun human characters for its earthbound exposition, which I appreciate. And if anyone wonders why we need a human element, one answer is to sell the scale. It doesn’t matter that Kong and Godzilla are gigantic if there’s no point of reference – especially in the giant-sized Hollow Earth.

If you prefer more serious entertainment, the unabashedly silly GxK may feel a little empty, but I’m all in on this absurdly fun ride.

The Package

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire arrives on 4K UHD with a Movies Anywhere digital code. This release is a little different from the previous norms, which I believe is the direction that Warner is trying to go in: there is no standard Blu-ray disc, but on the plus side the extras are included on the 4K disc instead of separated. Additional extras are also included with the AppleTV/iTunes version of the film.

This is precisely the sort of film that HD and especially 4K UHD are designed for in my opinion – big, loud, and packed with gigantic creatures and special effects.

Special Features and Extras

GxK on home video feels like a great throwback to DVD heyday with a ton of features a ton of extras highlighting different aspects of the film’s development, characters, story elements, designs, and key scenes. Taken as a whole the various featurettes add up to roughly a feature length documentary on the film’s craft.

  • GxK: Day of Reckoning (5:59)
  • GxK: Journey into the Unknown (9:39) – iTunes extra
  • Evolution of the Titans: Godzilla Evolved (5:34)
  • Evolution of the Titans: From Lonely God to King (5:45)
  • Into the Hollow Earth: Suko: The Rise of Mini-Kong (5:44) – iTunes extra
  • Into the Hollow Earth: Skar King: The Anti-Kong (5:53) – iTunes extra
  • Into the Hollow Earth: Visualizing Hollow Earth (5:47)
  • Into the Hollow Earth: Monsters of Hollow Earth (5:40)
  • The Battles Royale: A Titanic Fight Among the Pyramids (5:31)
  • The Battles Royale: The Zero Gravity Battle (5:04)
  • The Battles Royale: The Titans Trash Rio (5:23)
  • The Intrepid Director: Adam Wingard: Big Kid (3:45)
  • The Intrepid Director: Adam Wingard: Set Tour (3:46)
  • The Imagination Department (3:48)
  • The Monarch Island Base: Portal to Another World (5:34)
  • The Evolution of Jia: From Orphan to Warrior (5:59)
  • Bernie’s World: Behind the Triple Locked Door (3:30)
  • Feature Commentary by Director Adam Wingard, Visual Effects Supervisor Alessandro Ongaro, Production Designer Tom Hammock and Editor Josh Schaeffer

– A/V Out

Get it at Amazon: If you enjoy reading Cinapse, purchasing items through our affiliate links can tip us with a small commission at no additional cost to you. https://amzn.to/45qQtZk

Previous post INSIDE OUT 2 is Pixar’s Rewarding Return to Form
Next post CORMANIA!!! Two Cents Film Club Takes a Bite Into Classic Corman Production – Joe Dante’s PIRANHA