Disclaimer: This website, The Skull Island Times, is in no way affiliated with the film reviewed below.
Spoiler alert: King Kong doesn’t die in the end. That should be obvious—unless Kong was a zombie in the original 1933 film. Really, though, nothing is obvious these days. Thanks to directors such as J.J. Abrams, the lines between remake, reboot, prequel and sequel have become so blurred that anything can happen with what we once thought was canonized story material. Anyway, rest assured, King Kong doesn’t die in Kong: Skull Island. But he does get amnesia after being bonked in the head by a giant coconut.
Until that point in the film, Kong speaks with a British accent and aspires to move to Hollywood so he can become a movie star. However, after losing his smarts in the coconut accident, he only makes it as far as Detroit. This film is set in the 1970’s, which makes it specifically the prequel to the 1976 Jeff Bridges version of King Kong. As everyone agrees, this is by far the BEST version King Kong. I suspect the reason Kong: Skull Island takes place in Detroit and not NY is because of how prominently the World Trade Center features in the Bridges film. There’s still kind of a gray area with that. Robert Zemeckis featured the Twin Towers in his biopic The Walk, but most directors still don’t want to go there. Anyway, Detroit is a fine location to set a giant gorilla movie. But if the movie is set mainly in Detroit, why isn’t it called Kong: Detroit? My guess is because Disney didn’t build a Kong: Detroit theme park. Or at least they haven’t yet. But I digress…
Kong: Skull Island is the best movie to come out this year so far. The acting is stellar, the action is heart-pounding, and the CGI juggling scenes are far superior to the CGI juggling scenes in Peter Jackson’s 2005 film. Apparently, Brie Larson is way better at pretending to throw balls into the air than Naomi Watts is. My favorite moment in the film, however, is when John Goodman takes a dump over the side of Tom Hiddleston’s boat. He just had to go so badly, but Samuel L. Jackson was already using the boat’s only latrine. That is a significant turning point in the story, for reasons I can’t get into without giving away a major plot twist.
While the film is masterfully crafted for the most part, it’s not without its flaws. For one thing, it can be a little slow in some places. The scene where they’re all trying to put tap shoes onto the feet of a sedated Kong is excruciatingly long, and John Goodman gets really sweaty, and it becomes hard to watch after a while. There’s also some gratuitous product placement. The part where John C. Reilly is trying to clean Kong’s ears with a giant Q-tip brand cotton swab is especially irksome. But such is the era we live in, where it’s all about advertising. Overall, Kong: Skull Island is a tremendous film that demands multiple screenings to fully appreciate. My recommended dosage is to watch it three times per day every day during the first week of its initial release. I don’t recommend watching it in 3-D, however, because of the shitting scene on Hiddleston’s boat. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a great scene, but you don’t need John Goodman’s naked ass to be that close to your face.