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!
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, 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>.