Were you disappointed by the amount of screen time by the giant lizard in Godzilla? I have good news for you: the big ape of Kong: Skull Island hits the screen immediately before the opening credits in all his grandness, and appears constantly throughout the film with constant action and explosions in the mix. Yet even without the ape on screen all the time, the amount of swords, flames, helicopters, bombs, and Skullcrushers satisfactorily draw out everything moment by moment in an approach comparative to various scenes in Apocalypse Now.
So whether if you’re a millennial or a baby boomer, the action should satisfy. Standard to the tradition of Skull Island, other behemoths are accompanied to confront both Kong and the humans in search for him. These camouflaged beasts include a swamp ox, a log insect, a giant spider amongst a bamboo forest, reptilian birds, and a kraken who becomes Kong’s dinner. Other colorful sights on this god forsaken island range from the mesmerizing northern lights to the horrific pale-tinted mass grave of great ape skeletons, creating a believable look to a testing world against man’s successes.
Would such an experience keep you talking in the long run? Will you get pumped for Kong’s eventual confrontation against Godzilla?
Well, let’s rewind the clock to answer that question, shall we?
As the movie starts, a World War II soldier crash lands on a deserted island in 1944, only to come face to sword against a Japanese warrior. Compared to past King Kong movies, this slightly different period setting receives a rather poor treatment; I mean, when the first five minutes persuades us to cheer on a US soldier fighting against one of the Pearl Harbor bombers, has racism really changed at all by 2017 standards?
Then the opening credits shows historical footage of man’s scientific progress up until 1973. Then we see a researcher intent on proposing a government-funded trip to an unexplored destination named “Skull Island,” the one island God did not finish creating. They compare it to the Bermuda Triangle, as nobody has ever come back alive. So right at the Vietnam War’s end, a team of US soldiers, investigators, and a photographer set out to explore. Eventually they find the same soldier who crash landed in 1944, and introduce the old soldier to the worlds’ robust change since he left humanity, and team up with him to head back home. Although could man really be king here? Especially when the castaway tribe worships a 200 foot tall ape?
Kong may be an epic time for all you men out there, but you ladies may be napping once or twice, as your only mode of connection is Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room, Short Term 12), who exists here purely to play THAT kind of female lead. You know, the one who exists just so women have a celebrity name to gush over. The one who gets wet while wearing a skimpy gray tank top. If you’re still not underwhelmed, what if I told you about her romantic subplot, one that meets absolutely no resolution?
You may not even notice any predictable romantic subplot anyway, as there are so many millimeter thick cardboard cutout characters, none of which have a proper introduction to tell you who they are as human beings. Some of them are even there purely for comic relief’s sake. The large cast’s screen time balance of screen time has so little attention, you don’t feel any hint of tension or sorrow whenever one of them gets killed or mauled.
Now one question still remains: how will it be when Kong has to fight Godzilla in 2020? I can absolutely presume the fight will be epic. I mean, if Kong can deliver the nonstop action and cinematic grandness we asked for, while also learning its lessons from 2014’s Godzilla, then it should turn out entertaining enough.
On the other hand, if you prefer a much deeper story featuring characters who are worth cheering on, then you’d probably be better off watching Peter Jackson’s version as opposed to investing in future films similar to Kong: Skull Island. It may not be a particularly good movie, nor was it trying to be, but it’s still a pretty sweet thrill ride!
With a 1970’s setting, Kong: Skull Island speaks a lot toward the pride of American victories after wars and social strife. Not to mention there is plenty of talk about how America’s victory over World War II and the War in Vietnam means they can conquer anything. Anybody can easily get way over their heads whenever they meet success, especially when it leads to them attempting to face against a 200 foot tall ape!
Likewise, think of the reward that those with autism feel when they achieve something really difficult. Think of the way success could cause somebody on the spectrum to let go of common sense. You may be stumped, so I’ll help.
Imagine you got a promotion at work, one paying you much more than your previous position, and fits more of your personal interests. Here, your self-esteem will tip the scale, and you’ll probably go on an ego trip, feeling amazing about your past accomplishments. So then you start this new job, and decide you don’t need to think too hard about the new position because of your invincibility. Yet it turns out to be much more toilsome than you imagined, and you know what they say: the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Thus, your confidence has become so big it leads you to potential disaster and humiliation in a job you knew too little about.
Now, put autism in this equation, where overcoming obstacles brings out much greater rewards. So anytime an aspie achieves something hard, like getting a driver’s license or a full-time career, success can easily over magnify reality. All of a sudden, the individual thinks that they can do anything, such as driving 70 mph on a freeway into the big city, or working overtime in a social work environment. It could lead to all sorts of disasters, such as a car accident or emotional fatigue.
Unlike somebody not on the spectrum, anyone who is may have less a sense of how reality functions, and not consider all the potential outcomes of a situation. Especially in my own case, autism causes somebody to have such an amplified mind that one’s own reality makes more sense than the real world. So they can believe success means they are really on a roll with life. It also could mean they forget how toilsome it was to get where they are.
Anyone with autism should understand their limitations, as success does not automatically mean they are immune to failure. I recently had to learn that I don’t have to accept every job which decides to hire me, as it may not meet my financial needs, or I may simply not be as qualified of doing the job as I once thought. Businesses hired me for positions involving lots of interacting with people and generating sales, so just because they decided to hire me did not necessarily mean I had to take it. I had to understand my limitations and my career goals.
Six-Word Lessons for Autism Friendly Workplaces, Lesson #23: It’s OK to Avoid Some Jobs.
Thus, you don’t have to accept every great ape you are offered to conquer. It may mean you do not have the resources or the ability to face it, at least not immediately. It could force you to stay within the states and not go anywhere near the island, and that’s okay. You’re still making progress in being the best you can be.
- If you do come through a new challenge, such as a job promotion or new driver’s license, don’t go all out into it without rational thinking. Take baby steps. Learn about the new job and what to expect before you set foot in the new environment.
- Don’t let success get to your head. This is exactly how all the great minds lose their credibility: they find that they are on a roll with their endeavors, so they believe that means they no longer have to try. Never fall into this trap.
- Know that you don’t have to accept every challenge you are faced with. It’s more important that you consider the pros and cons, then speak to others you trust about what decision you should make.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see reviewed, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Collura, Scott. LEGENDARY, WARNERS CONFIRM CINEMATIC UNIVERSE FEATURING GODZILLA, KING KONG, OTHER GIANT MONSTERS. IGN. Ziff Davis, 14 Oct 2015. Web. <http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/10/14/legendary-warners-confirm-cinematic-universe-featuring-godzilla-king-kong-other-giant-monsters>.
Kong: Skull Island. Warner Bros. Web. <http://kongskullislandmovie.com/>.
Millican, Joshua. Monsters Abound in 2nd Trailer for “Kong: Skull Island”! Digital image. HorrorFreak News. LLC, 17 Nov 2016. Web. <http://horrorfreaknews.com/monsters-abound-2nd-trailer-kong-skull-island>.