Kong is back, baby! And he don’t give no fucks!
You got helicopters? He’ll fuck them up with a tree!
You got napalm? Fuck your napalm! Kong will toss it back at you!
This here is Kong’s house!
So as you can probably guess, I loved this movie.
The acting was great, the action was expertly filmed, and the cinematography looked gorgeous. So many beautifully shots. There are scenes in this that are just amazing. Seeing Kong rise up in the sunset or standing in profile as an explosion erupts behind him… seriously gorgeous to look at.
One thing that also makes this film stand out from all the other Kong remakes is that this is not a remake. Even Peter Jackson’s King Kong was just another remake of the original 1933 film. But not here, we’re getting an original story.
I think just about everyone has seen the original. Not sure if I’ve seen the 70’s version with Jeff Bridges or not. I’m sure I must have at one point, it’s just kind of drawing blanks right now.
And then there is Peter Jackson’s film, which I’m sure EVERYONE is familiar with. A film you either love or hate. I mostly just remember being bored by it.
Not the feeling I ever got with Kong thankfully. It’s a clean 2 hours. And! If you think you’ll have to wait long to get a glimpse of the king himself, you just have to wait 30 seconds into the opening title sequence.
I think for legal reasons they can’t call him King Kong. Might have something to do with when they gave the rights away to make King Kong vs Godzilla, with a Japanese company holding the rights. That’s why we suddenly got an American property fighting a Japanese property. I guess now being added into the shared universe of Godzilla monsters. Better known as kaiju monsters.
This might answer a few people’s questions as to why Kong is so large in this film. Well, that’s so he can hold his own up against Godzilla. Yes, technically this is a spoiler, but c’mon. The same people behind the 2014 film are behind this. Clearly they were setting up their own shared universe but with monsters instead of superheroes.
Of course when they actually revealed that in the film, I was already gone. I needed to pee pretty badly, so sticking around for the very end of the credits wasn’t in the cards for me. Stupid bladder. Stupid giant sized coke.
John Goodman plays a crackpot scientist or more correctly called a “cryptozoologist”. No, I think crackpot pretty much covers it. For some reason this guy has the ear of the government. Actually funding his bullshit research, like the hollow earth theory. Which was debunked a long time ago. But hey, if there’s still flat earthers, why not hollow eathers as well!
The year is 1973, the US is finally pulling out of Vietnam.
Seeing as the US could really us a win right now, Goodman gets the greenlight to explore this newly discovered island that has been hidden from the world thanks to this giant tornado surrounding it.
That’s where Samuel L. Jackson’s character comes into play. He’s a soldier without a war, feeling defeated now that the US is pulling out of Nam.
He’s tasked, along with his soldier boys, to escort Goodman and his crackpot scientists to this island. The island commonly referred to as Skull Island.
Along on this adventure we have Tom Hiddleston, who is an ex British spy, now guide. He’s there to make sure when they get on the island, they stay alive and pointed in the right direction.
Then there is Brie Larson’s character. Her role is to document their findings. She’s an antiwar photographer, instantly gaining Samuel L. Jackson’s disdain.
Jeez, so that’s three Marvel superheroes right there. Unless I’m forgetting someone. Eventually everyone will be in a superhero movie.
Now that the team has assembled (Avengers joke), it’s onward to this mysterious island. Wait… who is that playing the captain of the ship they’re on? Is that Longmire’s Robert Taylor? It is! Small part, but at least he has lines. Unlike Andy Garcia in Passengers. Everyone go check out Longmire on Netflix, it’s great. Maybe skip the last season though. That was pretty disappointing and is what got the series cancelled for a second time.
Anyway, back to the film!
When everyone makes it to the island, they want to drop seismic charges (bombs) to measure the depths of the earth. Trying to prove their whole hollow earth theory. We also learn later on it was also to get the attention of Kong. Well, that’s exactly what they got. Kong comes out of nowhere, turning these helicopters into basketballs. He swats them all out of the air, forcing everyone to crash land. Those who weren’t eaten, stepped on or just blown up that is.
With our crew scattered along the island, most of everyone dead, they have to find a way to rendezvous at the other side of the island so they can get picked up and the hell off this island. The giant monkey might have been scary and killed a shitload of people just now but this island has way scarier creatures in store for them.
The one that really creeped me out was when they were in this bamboo forest and all of a sudden, a character gets a pole shoved down his throat. Some of the bamboo isn’t bamboo, but legs of a giant ass spider.
That’s the thing with this movie, characters can die at any minute. As soon as you aren’t expecting it, BAM! Another one bites the dust. Really the only ones you can get attached to are Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson’s characters, they’re our leads, you know they’re safe. But everyone else is fair game.
The one who really steals this movie is John C. Reilly’s character. He’s a crashed pilot from World War 2. He’s kind of lost his mind a bit. He was with his Japanese pal he crash landed with, but he was killed by the other creatures on the island…
The skull crushers.
They’re the reason Kong was so angry at the discovery crew for dropping bombs. They were opening holes in the earth for these creatures to come out of. They’re nasty things. All the monsters on this island are mostly bigger versions of something else. Like the spider or the water buffalo we meet later on. But the skull crushers… They’re just monsters. They wear their skeleton on the outside, making them pretty tough adversaries. They also have a mouth filled with shark like teeth and this tongue that will whip out at you, dragging you into their mouths. Which you see happen to our characters pretty often.
So at this point Samuel L. Jackson’s character has made it his own personal mission to kill Kong. He just watched helplessly as this giant ape killed his soldiers. He wants revenge and knows just how to get it. Napalm. Problem is the stuff is halfway across the island. Going the wrong direction for the rendezvous. They also have to go into skull crusher territory. The area is a wasteland. The only thing covering this area is the skulls of Kong’s parents. Giving us some background on Kong himself. He’s a sad and lonely ruler, tough but fair king.
Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t care less about the other creatures or anyone else anymore. He has been completely taken over by rage and revenge. He wants these motherfucking monkeys off this motherfucking island! He sets a trap for Kong, filling the lake with napalm, setting booby-traps with the left over depth charges. And shockingly enough, Kong is defeated.
But the locals on the island warned, if Kong goes, the giant skull crusher that sleeps underground will rise up. And that’s exactly what happens. Giant monster battle time!
Some have complained that the ending fight was a bit of a letdown. Here is the problem, I mean, first off it wasn’t. It’s a great final battle. But we’ve seen him fight a ton of shit by now. He even takes on this giant octopus, which he fucking eats!
People had the opposite problem with Godzilla when that came out. How it was kind of lackluster but that final boss battle was amazing! That might be because whenever it was time for Godzilla to do battle with a creature, they just cut away from it. Only giving you that big fight at the very end.
In Kong, they don’t cut away from anything. He beats the shit out of everything in this movie. So maybe by the end you’re a bit fatigued by the time you get to the last spectacle.
Do I recommend this film? Hell yes I recommend it. This movie is the reason you go to theaters to see movies. It was made to be seen on a large screen. See this movie, see it now. The year has just started and already I have two films going on my best top 10 list.
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