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JJ Wayne Graham Reviews Leave a Comment

Instead of a monster movie about Kong, this remake of the quintessential creature feature focuses on one general’s vendetta against a war he may or may not have lost. The scrutiny he and his company (really, it’s all Sam) face as soldiers returning home from the Vietnam War is all too much to bear, so Packard enlisted his company upon another mission.

Colonel Packard’s (played by Samuel L. Jackson) selfish motives to take his soldiers on a mission without their say so was a good reason to tag-along a military presence. This propriety expedition was nothing but a sham to entertainment on man’s crazy idea.

Preston Packard should have died upon entry to the island. This movie had one too many monomaniacal characters to entitle the responsibility of being obsessed with the beast that is Kong.

Kong: Skull Island Had One Too Many Ahabs

Preston Packard took up too much screen time and interrupted the suspense embedded within the dangers of exploring an island inhabited by vicious creatures. The narrative of Captain Ahab and his merry band of soldiers was too much of a distraction and serve little purpose than to add more exposition to an otherwise simple plot:

Kong… Dangerous Island… A whole lot of people dying.

If you’re keeping tabs, this fact of Kong as not a (premeditated) killer of men was established with Godzilla (2015) and verified with the inclusion of John C Reilly’s character, Hank Marlow, who wasn’t afraid, but of something worse on that island.

Aside from occupying too much screen time, the Preston Packard story does nothing to necessarily supplement the supporting cast. There was a brief exchange between Packard and Bill Randa (John Goodman), the two Ahab’s of this story, which began and ended all too quickly.

Bill Randa’s obsession with Kong and what it truly means to him to expose this monsters existence is a better monster movie narrative than one man’s desire to win a war within the battleground of his own soul.

Randa’s compulsion to expose this monster and prove to the world its validity is a more fitting to the King Kong narrative and the future success of the Creative Universe films.

The Two Main Characters of Kong play second fiddle

  • Larson as Mason Weaver

Brie Larson, just fresh off procuring an Oscar for The Room, takes the role of a war photographer who was the typecast female lead in all King Kong movie adaptations.

Let’s play connecting tropes: Captain James Conrad, played by Tom Hiddleston was to be the true leader of the expedition, however, his badassery was cock-blocked by the guy who wasn’t invited to the party but sticks around to muck things up enough for everyone else to not be important.

  • Dead Weight

Hiddleston needed an army to lead. His character has Captain in the title, so why not kill off Packard? This necessary death would not only serve the character development of Captain Conrad but it adds more conflict and tension amongst the group. They [the soldiers] were all too eager to please Packard and were too fearful to enact any sort of mutiny. With the soldiers under Conrad’s reluctant command, there’s an opportunity to visibly and physically portray dissension amongst the group as they grabble with taking orders from a disgraced Sergeant.

John “muthaf@$%ing” Goodman

And let’s, not forget Bill Randa. Yeah, as all this drama unfolds, he’s observing, looking for the one man among the ronin of soldiers who hates the very idea of serving for or under anyone else but Packard.

Randa, the man who has a beef with the world. No one believed his fool hearty tales of large oceanic creatures and mysterious island dwellings. Randa needed a friend, and plus, he would need a pilot.

An early death to Packard allows time to explore the island, encounter vicious creatures, and allow John Goodman to shine as brilliantly as he does in just about everything he touches these days.

Packards motives in this war with Kong would get him killed just as quickly as they would in actual war. There’s no place for the individual in a war so to believe this character should and would last the length of this movie is absurd. Selfish deeds against an unbeatable foe was a trite allegory within the context of this particular storyline.

King Kong in its earlier incarnation expressed this very unbalanced notion of man’s threat to nature and how we can make a monster out of anything we don’t choose to want to understand.

As we find more and more ways to piss on nature and disregard the importance of maintaining that “balance” as we consume and destroy God’s creations for either for the game or for food.

As the world’s population continues to grow at a rapid rate, that “balance” will further tip into the realm of desperation. Whatever was once or is considered endangered or protected will become food to survive.

And this includes us, humans.

Think The Road. If ever you want to envision a very scary but plausible end of the world scenario, check out that flick.

Kong is an exemplary figure of nature’s way of protecting the “balance” of things. Just as Godzilla rose from the sea to save mankind from a monstrous scale tipping earth beast. The question remains, for us, who keep the balance for humankind and stops us from further tipping the scales in an apocalyptic way.

It’s not the presence of Kong but the presence of humans who are the monster in these stories. We disrupt the natural order of the island, Kong’s home, for no reason but to indulge own curiosity and greed. But, Kong actively works to save them from the dangers of his island without much cause to do so.

With Warner Bros. and it’s Monsterverse now established, it will be interesting to see if the next set of movies within this franchise focuses less on the humanization of the monsters and more on their need to exist because nature requires them to live.

 

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