“Kong: Skull Island” 2017 – Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. Poster credit: imdb.com
Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Our take: Don’t Watch It
After successfully convincing my brother-in-law that babysitting would be far better than relaxing and texting hotties the wife and I managed to slip out and celebrate our anniversary in a monster way. Instead of a night to remember, Karma fifth-wheeled along and we were punished for hoodwinking the babysitter by suffering through a monster flop.
We have seen 3 incarnations of Kong with Kong: Skull Island being the third. The first wasn’t bad for the 1970’s. The second was in 2005 and that one is the best one to date. Kong 2017 is a movie that should have been left on the screen writer’s bathroom floor.
The wife and I tried and tried and tried to suspend reality enough to accept this all-star cast of characters would have a good enough reason to go to an uncharted island with a spooky name but it did not happen. Captain James Conrad (Hiddleston, The Night Manager, Thor series) is the perpetually sour and cynical leader of a group of adventurers/entrepreneurs/victims that include rebellious photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson, Free Fire, Room), blood thirsty Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel Jackson, Django Unchained, Captain America, The Winter Soldier) and the lost, loopy and hard-to-look-at WWII pilot Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly, Stepbrothers, Wreck It Ralph). With all of these fine ingredients we should have a mouth-watering feast for the eyes. Nope, we ended up with a bowl of unmixed, unrelated and unbelievable stories.
Kong 2005 had heart and human drama in addition to mesmerizing special effects, Kong 2017 has only special effects. While K2017 has special effects in spades, it is too much. Sure, we could not wait to see the next giant on this “island of giants” and some of them were awe-inspiring but special effects do not a movie make. Also, a few of the “giants” had the wife and me curled in the fetal position howling with laughter; duh-umb.
K2005 had the central story of Kong and his lady and what each one taught the other; we saw a love story but Kong was still a King and he let his captors know that. K2005 was both beauty and beast, much the same way we humans can be tender and creative yet capable of extreme violence. In K2017 Kong isn’t regal in any way; he seems to be the biggest thug on the island, bashing the ever-loving crap out of everything and screaming at the top of his hominid lungs. This brings us to our next reason to pass on K2017: the sound.
K2005 was a bit loud and we all knew a pair of 35-foot, gorilla lungs were going to wail but it was not to the point of pain. K2017 banged endlessly on our eardrums from the first frame until we got up and left. The movie was messy, the story was messier but the sound was by far and away the worst. It was intolerable. By the time the showdown betwixt man and Kong arrived we were already outside asking for a refund and googling nearby Otolaryngologists (that’s the name for an ear doctor if you google it. We would pronounce it for you but we still cannot hear our own voices.)
We do not know when volume became an adequate substitute for quality movies but, like special effects, Kong: Skull Island has sound in buckets. Unfortunately, likes special effects, volume will not make a movie good enough to sit through. King Kong? No, definitely not. This one was King Wrong.
We say: Don’t Watch It.