Delight in Decay – On the Reel: Kong Skull Island


I’ll be the first to admit when I heard that there was going to be a King Kong remake I was a bit concerned. While this movie has been re-made before I wasn’t entirely sure how it’s going to be handled. I can honestly say that while having very low expectations, I felt very satisfied leaving the theater.

I’ll admit also that I’ve had difficulty getting through Peter Jackson’s remake primarily because of the length of time spent establishing the characters as opposed to spending time focusing on King Kong. The Peter Jackson remake/reboot (whatever) was a very serious movie and I definitely feel as though he tried to capture the film as best he could, especially considering his love for the original. His put a lot of care and handled the film delicately as to not disgrace a film beloved by so many and to not destroy a classic.

Now press refresh and start over.

This King Kong film isn’t especially serious. In fact at times its campy spirit and lense flare effects reminded me of a true 70’s film (living up to the time period setting).

This film seemed to be a love note to monster fans who have longed for lengthy scenes of battles between gigantic forces. There is more action and while the many humans in the film are given qualities it was hard to not see many of them as ‘red shirts’. The desire burns so strong within monster fans like myself to see these creatures unabashed and in their full glory that if it involves maiming main characters, sacrifices might have to be made.

Kong Skull Island gave us fans what we’d wanted, a full look at Skull Island! After losing the Spider Pit Scene (and yes, Peter Jackson’s team did a wonderful recreation) monster fans have wanted to see more of those elusive creatures that dwell just beyond focus from the original. This film delivers on all accords! While not taking itself seriously the creatures were handled with a lot of respect, showing signs of thinking, learning and having emotions.

Now if you aren’t quite as in the loop, a strong theory since the Godzilla remake came out is that there would be a main plan to make a Godzilla Vs. Kong remake. I think if this is the plan I feel like this tone will be appropriate and will help and balance the incredible seriousness of Godzilla.

Kaiju films have a lot of tones but all in all they generally don’t shy away from doing things because they’re cool (practical or not). The whole G Force idea (Google it.) is practically a staple for were doing it cause fans will love it (and we do). Because Godzilla tried so hard to be realistic and practical it lost a lot of charm from other Godzilla movies. By spending so much time focusing on the soldier and his wife, we completely ignore that in a Japanese film Godzilla would’ve already warmed up by fighting Baragon or another monster. I have hope the next movie will take notes from this one and focus on the monster money shots because monster fans just see ‘red shirts’ and want to see the good stuff.

Also Samuel L. Jackson. Just Samuel L. Jackson.

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