Review of "Kong"
by Jason Minton
Kong: Skull Island – 2017
I’ll admit I was biased against this Kong going in. I’m by no means a Kong fanboy. However making Kong so much larger so he can fight Hollywood’s gigantic version of Godzilla down the road, just doesn’t set well with me. I did my best to go in with an open mind.
The film moves quickly. There’s very little set-up as to why they’re hunting Kong or much background on the characters. They cover their basis and we immediately go into destruction mode on Skull Island. Kong smash is the theme of this one. It was like watching a Michael Bay movie. I even looked in the credits to see if his name was attached. The excellent actors like, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston were almost wasted. The lack of depth in the characters of Kong didn’t require such caliber actors.
King Kong was enormous. I kept reminding myself not to judge this in a biased way. To treat it as if it were a random giant monster movie. Visually the movie was on point. Something that’s always a concern going into a heavily green screened film. While I absolutely hated gigantic, slender Kong and the design of the “Skull Lizards” was horrible, the graphics and visuals were excellent.
I kept trying to excuse the things this movie did that didn't set well with me and just enjoy it. Then in one scene they lost me. In that scene our hero, played by Tom Hiddleston, was running through “toxic gas”, slicing up miniature pterodactyls with a World War II Japanese sword. I lost all reserve for this movie at that point. I spent the rest of the movie laughing out loud at it’s ridulousness and not in an enjoyable way.
A lot of people criticized Peter Jackson’s King Kong. It did run too long but I enjoyed it. Regardless your thoughts, no one can say that there wasn’t someone passionate sitting behind the camera in Jackson’s version. This movie was simply Hollywood wanting to make a King Kong film and hiring the people to do so. The driving force behind this one wasn't a love of Kong but a love of money.
I will say if you’re going to watch it anyway, go to theaters. The visuals are the best part. Those who like Hollywood blockbusters with lots of action, will like this better than me. Just not my type of film.
2/5 – it struck a nerve with things I hate in films.