The Legend of Kong and the Curse of Re-equals(Remakes/sequels)
DISCLAIMERS & TEARS
Okay, I know disclaimers are almost never needed but I will give one anyway. DISCLAIMER: This is my first blog EVER. Now that that is out of the way I would like to start out by saying I really have no beef with remakes. I actually have enjoyed watching a bunch of remakes and sequels in the theaters. Now for the most part these movies wouldn’t be made unless they were guaranteed to make boat loads of money. Usually by giving us the same movie over and over again. Sounds like a no brainer on the business side of things and that is why we are seeing a surplus of remakes, sequels and all the above. For example, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) and Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) are virtually identical only being released 10 years apart and I was old enough to see them both in theaters. To be fair, I fell asleep through The Amazing Spider-Man but I was still conscious enough to realize how unnecessary the retelling of Spider-Man's origin story was. However, to be fair, tears were shed when Gwen Stacy (portrayed by Emma Stone) met her very unexpected death at the end of the Amazing Spider-Man sequel. Unexpected by me at least. That being said these movies do tend to provide us with a small amount of variety and memorable moments but overall add very little to characters and stories we know and love and sometimes ruin our love of these characters. DISCLAIMER: I am not a comic book nerd but do enjoy comic book movies.
AN UN-BETA REVIEW
Now to get to my most recent transaction at my local cinema. Kong: Skull Island directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts is the latest remake in theaters coming only 12 years after Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Even though Kong has actually been portrayed on screen in about 7 films over the last 80 years (King Kong 1933, Son of Kong 1933, King Kong Vs. Godzilla 1962, King Kong Escapes 1967, King Kong lives 1976, and the aforementioned King Kong 2005, and Kong Skull Island 2017). It is safe to say this is one remake I felt had some good moments and a lot, a lot, A LOT of really not so good things about it. I honestly do not understand how this movie came in at 77% on rotten tomatoes. Spoiler alert, I was pretty disappointed.
Kong Skull Island stars some pretty well-known actors such as Tom Hiddleston (Avengers & Thor), Brie Larson (Room), and my personal favorite, Samuel L. Jackson (Every movie you’ve ever seen). Which kind of led to why I had such high hopes for Kong and also led to why those hopes were definitely not met. Now let’s move on to my 2 most Love/hate moments of Kong Skull Island:
1. I loved the not too serious monster movie tone:
- You could tell they knew what kind of movie they were trying to make which was a huge plus from the get go. Kong: Skull Island had a mature tone that wasn’t afraid to make a monster movie about a giant gorilla feel scary, fast paced and still keep the humor. John C. Reilly as the comic relief really nailed his role by lightening the mood when things were beginning to feel a little too bleak.
2. I loved Kong’s look and character portrayal:
The movie had many great shots of Kong’s full body in action as well as a variety of close-up shots. Kong had a very cool and different look standing on two feet with a very human like stature (as mentioned on The Beta Report). He succeeded in looking strong, scary and surprisingly sympathetic. This movie really relied on Kong’s ability to be a character you can root for. Despite Kong brutally killing most of Samuel L. Jackson’s team we are very strategically convinced that Kong is still our hero since he was protecting the island from bigger threats. This pushes us to see Samuel L. Jackson’s character as the villain because he wants revenge at all costs. This is probably where the movie really struggled in my non-professional opinion because they challenged the audience to believe revenge is an uglier monster than a three-hundred-foot gorilla or the legless lizards Kong battles. Still I think they actually pulled this off so thumbs up to them.
1. Hated the weak character development:
- One of the first things that frustrated me about this movie is actually how under used all these great actors were. It’s as if they just needed to find ways to increase the budget as much as possible by hiring all of these known actors but failed to actually develop any of them any further than showing how one dimensional they were. Tom Hiddleston was probably my biggest disappointment since his character was introduced as this bad ass tracker that seemed to be really essential to this mission. So much so that John Goodman’s character really went out of his way to recruit him by traveling halfway across the world and paying him large sums of money. I guess that’s all it takes to risk your life for a mission you know nothing about. Too bad it seems that throwing a bunch of money at Tom was all that was needed to convince him to take on this mission to Skull Island. Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman also had pretty weak character development. As I said earlier they were used as default antagonists with only their missions on their mind and nothing else. While most people in the movie were smart enough to realize, Kong wasn’t the real enemy, their characters were almost annoyingly forced to be the unlikeable villains.
2. Hated the editing/flow of the movie:
- Unfortunately, one of my gripes is bad editing or the flow of a movie. As well as bad dialogue, which this movie has plenty of. I was really looking forward to this movie being fun with some really laugh out loud moments and I am not sure what I can say went wrong besides the beats were just off. The movie really did not waist anytime taking you from opening credits to Skull Island really quick. Which I don’t mind but even from the start every scene that was intended to be funny fell flat, and half way through the movie I even heard the person next to me complain that this movie doesn’t know if it wants to be a comedy or action/horror. Which, I think is because whenever the jokes were thrown out they just didn’t hit the mark. Except for a few really good lines from John C. Reilly, I was pretty upset with the comedy and the way the movie flowed overall. It was just one muted montage after another with cheesy dialogue and out of nowhere death scenes where they killed off the characters that made the movie interesting, one by one.
Overall I didn’t hate the movie, but I was pretty disappointed with all the ways it fell short. I wouldn’t really even recommend it and would give it a 2 out of 5 stars. Skip it, even if its streaming for free.
Thanks for reading.