Godzilla X Kong's Villain Posed An Interesting Problem For The Filmmakers

This article contains spoilers for "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire."

After a stellar TV run with "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters," which finally gave us a good human story within the "Godzilla" mythos, and an unprecedented Oscar victory for "Godzilla Minus One," Godzilla has returned to the big screen with another team-up between Godzilla and King Kong. 

Part of what makes "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" interesting and unique among the MonsterVerse movies is its team-up of villains, Shimo and Skar King. They essentially serve as reflections of Godzilla and Kong, the former being a lizard-like kaiju with an energy beam, and the latter being a giant ape.

Though Shimo is barely even a character, Skar King is a fantastic addition to the MonsterVerse — a violent and evil despot like Koba in "Planet of the Apes," with a badass kaiju spine he uses as a chain-weapon and as a way to control Shimo.

/News's Bill Bria attended a screening where co-writer/director Adam Wingard was present and answering questions from some journalists, and the director said that despite Skar King being a cool character, he did pose a peculiar problem for the production: They couldn't tear him to pieces. 

"[In the previous movie] we had Mechagodzilla, who's obviously a robot. But killing him was really fun because we could do kind of a samurai bloody death scene without it being bloody, because Kong chops him up and he's bleeding oil everywhere. So it allowed us to do this visceral, almost gory sequence," Wingard explained.

"But with Skar King, it's like, yeah, you hate Skar King, he's bad, but if you started eviscerating Skar King, you'd have some kids running out. [laughs] But we eventually found it with this ice thing."

Killing robots is perfectly fine

Is this a massive prejudice against robots? Sure, but it is quite a standard way of getting away with mayhem and violence without traumatizing kids (unless you're Brad Bird and you're making "The Iron Giant").

As long as the "monster" is not a person or an animal, it is perfectly acceptable to tear them to pieces on screen and still get the green light by the Motion Picture Association. This is the reason why the "Lord of the Rings" managed to get away with a PG-13 rating despite all the orc beheadings; they simply bleed green, so technically there's no real blood on screen. This is also why so many kids' action cartoons have robots as the villains. You can smash them, crush them, maim them, and blow them to bits, and it is entirely fine since they clearly aren't "real" people. Having Kong tear apart the jaw of a T-rex in Peter Jackson's 2005 "King Kong" is fine because, well, dinosaurs are not around anymore and a T-rex could basically be interpreted as a monster. Kong graphically tearing Skar King to pieces is not acceptable, since he just looks like a regular (albeit giant) ape.

The "Godzilla" movies have never really been rated R, and there is zero need for them to start getting that rating now. Freezing Skar King and having him break into pieces just slightly off-screen fits just right within this movie as an alternative to graphic violence.