Our favourite massive monkey is back on the big screen in this new Hollywood blockbuster starring Samuel L Jackson, Tom Hiddleston and Academy award winning Brie Larson to name but a few among this extremely impressive cast. Although this is just as impressive as it gets, unfortunately.
Set in the 70’s before the genius of Google Maps and satellite imaging, there were still unexplored areas of the Earth, including the home of Kong, Skull Island. A team of scientists and the military are sent in to explore the unchartered territory, however they get a lot more than they bargained for as they discover the almighty ape amongst many other giant beasts.
Classic songs from Creedence Clearwater Revival and Black Sabbath are included in the movie soundtrack adding to the 70’s feel and pumping you with nostalgia.
Tom Hiddleston hasn’t had a great time recently, due to a much publicised fling with Taylor Swift; waving good bye to all of his street-cred when he was ‘papped’ wearing that ‘I heart T.S’ vest. However this film may have just saved what is left of his dignity. He has clearly buffed up for this role and is not afraid to show it, becoming the obvious eye-candy in this exploration mission. However, that is all he is; eye-candy. Other than some unnecessary flirting with Brie Larson’s character, his role is extremely underwhelming; his lines would probably fit on an A4 sheet of paper.
Kong is notorious for its ‘damsel in distress’, but Brie Larson is no Fay Wray. She is as much of an action star as the rest of the cast, holding her own in a very sexist era. The world has moved on and so has Kong.
There is very little backstory, you are thrown into the island knowing nothing, much like the explorers. You feel that sense of surprise and discovery as you are immersed into the beautiful filming locations of Hawaii, Australia and Vietnam; a cinematic delight. It is action from the get-go, however, that is all it is. From interviews in the pre-release of the movie, there were mentions of Kong having a greater meaning, such as a metaphor for mother-nature and the fact that we cannot keep invading and destroying the environment without consequence. However I think this is giving the film a more profound credit than is deserved. It is essentially a money-maker; you are swept up into exciting action and adventure, but are left feeling deflated and confused as the film if brought to a weak conclusion.
King Kong has been a media icon since 1933. Kong Skull Island is a 2 hour adventure, but iconic it is not.
First published in Marketplace Magazine, Bourne.