THREE GUYS AND… A MOVIE
series created by Marvin Mercer and Nick Stephenson
“KONG: SKULL ISLAND”
written by Dominick Cappello
All hail the king! This film doesn’t screw around. Perhaps as an answer to people’s complaints that Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” (2005) had too much padding, or maybe that “Godzilla” (2014) didn’t have enough monster melees, this latest King Kong reboot directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts features oodles of action.
John Goodman’s character works for Monarch, so you know this film is connected to the Godzilla reboot. Yes, yet another cinematic universe. The film takes place in 1973. Samuel L. Jackson plays a colonel who’s disconcerted with the war in Vietnam coming to an end because it was unwinnable war and now he doesn’t know what to do with himself during peacetime. He wants to keep fighting, so he agrees to have him and his troops accompany John Goodman on an exploration of Skull Island. Tom Hiddleston plays a James Bond type man-of-action who’s hired to join the team. But, the film really is an ensemble and everyone gets a chance to be a hero (or should I say those who live long enough). Brie Larson isn’t a typical damsel in distress like we’ve seen is previous King Kong films. She’s a photo journalist who volunteers for the mission. She reminded more of Jeff Bridges in the 1976 remake. Speaking of which, the 1976 remake had Skull Island hidden by a perpetual fogbank. Also, the 2005 version of Skull Island was shrouded in mist. The 2017 version turns it up eleven by having Skull Island surrounded by storm clouds.
Like I said, this film doesn’t screw around. The team starts dropping seismic charges and that makes Kong mad. Really mad. They’re not on the island long before Kong smashes the shit out of all their choppers. The survivors are separated into two groups. Those following Tom Hiddleston encounter the natives and John C. Reilly as a pilot who has been marooned on the island since WW2. This group is focused on escaping the island whereas those following Samuel L. Jackson are on a revenge mission. They intend to kill Kong because those are Sam Jackson’s orders and he’s one bad mother fucker. These are the characters who comes across a giant spider. I hate spiders. What could be more terrifying than a giant spider? The stuff of nightmares. Also, Kong fights a giant octopus just like “King Kong vs. Godzilla” (1962). The octopus retreated in the 1962 film, but this time it became tasty lunch for Kong.
There is a wall on the island because every King Kong film worth its salt should have a wall. There was no wall in “King Kong Lives” (1986) and it sucked. However, this wall isn’t to keep Kong out, it’s protection from the Skull Crawlers. I was a little disappointed with their appearance when I first saw them in the coming attractions, but they turned out to be cool. Just like James Cameron’s “Aliens” (1986) this film was an allegory for the Vietnam war with the soldiers being overwhelmed by an enemy they don’t understand, but this was a little more on the nose than “Aliens” was. On the other hand, I appreciate how the Beauty & The Beast relationship between Brie Larson and Kong wasn’t overdone like it was with Naomi Watts in 2005. Remember when she and Kong went ice skating in Central Park? This time they kept it simple with Brie giving Kong a little pet. When Kong was battling the giant Skull Crawler, he went for his patented finishing move, which is to rip is opponent’s jaws apart just the T-Rex in the 1933 classic, the Gorosaurus in “King Kong Escapes” (1967), the giant snake in 1976 remake, and the V-Rex in the 2005 version. Unfortunately, the move didn’t work this time, so Kong ripped out all the Skull Crawler’s insides. Its guts were everywhere, which is good if you love carnage.
We then had to sit through a long credit sequence to get to the bonus scene. Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson were apparently being recruited by Monarch and were shown cave paintings of Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. We also heard Godzilla roar just to be sure everybody knew what was going on. So, stay tuned for “King Kong v Godzilla: Dawn of Justice” in 2020.
BTW Awesome soundtrack!
– Dr. Jelly