“WHERE’S THE BEEF?” Invigorated audiences may think the reptile-primate bromance this time around was a mistake. PHOTO COURTESY OF NNPA

Godzilla and King Kong use to have a beef. Now that they’ve kissed and made up, there’s no real meat in the generic, big-creature smackdown “Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire.”

Also, any production involving Godzilla or Kong now stands in the shadow of the Oscar-winning “Godzilla Minus One.” There’s no excuses anymore. If writer/director Takashi Yamazaki can craft a heart-felt script with three-dimensional characters. If Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takashi and Tatsuji Nojima can conjure eyeballentrancing visual effects so stunning they garner the ultimate achievement in artistry, an Academy Award. Then any filmmakers who come after them can step up. If they really want to.

Something is riling the titan Godzilla, who’s been comfortably curled up and napping in Rome’s Colosseum. On the other side of the world, the young girl Jia (Kaylee Hottle, “Godzilla vs Kong”) is feeling weird. Cryptically, something is bothering her. A weird vibe. She’s also worried about her friend King Kong, who’s on Skull Island, his home. He’s being watched over by a team of scientists and a veterinarian named Trapper (Dan Stevens, “Beauty and the Beast”).

Jia’s adoptive mom, Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebeca Hall, “Resurrection” and director of “Passing”), is the head of the Kong research division for the secret organization Monarch. She takes her daughter’s inklings so seriously she enlists the help of Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry, “Causeway”), a weirdo conspiracy theorist podcaster whose show “Titan Truths” is obsessed with the mega monsters. Something is up. That’s the buzz.

Views of Godzilla and Kong aren’t entrancing. The overly obvious computer-generated trickery is telltale. In the latest “Planet of the Apes” franchise, it’s mindboggling how real the creatures look. In “Godzilla Minus One,” the big boy doesn’t look real, but there is something about him that appears organic and not like a cloud of effects. Also, in opening scenes, as Godzilla rises and travels, attacking nuclear plants and absorbing radiation for some unknown reason, planes and helicopters fly around his head. They look like a kindergartener’s toys.

As the film progresses and an enigmatic signal attracts action to the Hollow Earth, a hidden realm in the planet’s core, more beasts are unearthed. None look any more vivid than the two on the surface. The verdant underworld landscape is interesting (production designer Tom Hammock, Godzilla vs. Kong), but the music (Tom Holkenborg and Antonio Di Iorio), interior sets, flying capsules, costumes (Emily Seresin) and cinematography (Ben Seresin) don’t enhance those scenes. If there is a saving grace, it’s that the fights, battles and combat, which lead up to a do-or-die climax with Godzilla and Kong teaming up to for the big brawl, are well paced and measured throughout which should delight action/adventure/sci-fi fans.

Being original, innovative or deep is not part of the scope of the script by director/writer Adam Wingard (“Godzilla vs Kong”) and screenwriter Terry Rossio. E.g., the chit-chat on the space craft that flies Jia, Bernie, Tanner and Dr. Andrews to the center of the world and the Monarch outpost, is banal. The shuttle is flown by the gruff pilot Mikael (Alex Ferns), a mean taskmaster: “Try not to swallow your tongue.” Bernie, the scared passenger: “What?!!”. Tanner is blasé. Jia hopeful. And Andrews in charge. Words and character development don’t get much deeper than that.