Not so good
We are yet again faced with this elusive, gigantic creature that since his arrival at the big screen in 1933 have fascinated movie-goers with his two-sided personality. At one side, the sheer brutality when he fights against other monsters, like tyrannosaurus rex in Peters Jacksons movie twelve years ago, and the pre-historic lizards he is faced with this time, on the other side, his softness to nature and the connection to people that see through his rawness and fight for survival.
My first introduction to King Kong came through one of his full-sized models at an amusement park in Rimini, Italy back in the 80’s. This replica came from 1976-remake featuring actors like Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange, and yes, the hands were big enough to fit a grown-up. The big ape now has eight official movies attached to his name, among them two Japanese versions that was released in the 60’s, and a sequel to Skull Island is in the works that will honor these two when it is released in 2020 under the name Godzilla vs. Kong.
The movie starts off introducing us to a young fighter pilot in John C. Reilly, a mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean, and the audience gets the first glimpses of the main character. We then skip to the seventies during the last days of the Vietnam war. John Goodmans character works for a secret government program that have found the location of this island through satellite footage, and receives the funds required for the mission under the guise of it being a “geological survey”. He heads out with a bunch of scientists and nam vets under the leadership of Samuel L. Jackson, who repeats his role as “a braindead person with some kind of authority or power, who sees this authority be shattered, and seeks deadly revenge at any cost”.
As many CGI-spectacles these days, this too is a promotional picture for a new Marvel superhero-character. Brie Larson who will suit up as Captain Marvel, joins the Skull Islands cast with Loki and Nick Fury, a role Jackson is rumored to repeat in the stand-alone movie when it hits the theaters in 2019. Not to be too detailed on everyones characters in this story, it is safe to say nearly all of them suffers “creative” deaths taken straight out of a splatter movie.
I don’t really get this movie. Sure, it’s King Kong, and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts have stuffed everything great about King Kong into this movie, on his home turf, with tiny humans not knowing what they’ve stumbled into, and their hopeless struggle to either conquer him, or escape alive from the oversized bugs and other nasty creature inhabitating Kongs turf. But the story seems to be just put out there, with no real goals in mind, with flat characters that represents the evil and the good in man. One thing Vogt-Roberts had as a vision about is clearly big explosion, and since we are talking Vietnam, why not add some napalm to the mix, and make this substance “cool” again. Pretty disgusting.
Kong: Skull Island is only interesting because of its CGI-effects, and will be an addition to the franchise that lacks good storytelling, and is more like a mash-up of storyboards. It will most likely be forgotten, sooner rather than later.