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  Entertainment   Movie Reviews  11 Mar 2017  Kong: Skull Island movie review — Pick someone your own size

Kong: Skull Island movie review — Pick someone your own size

Published : Mar 11, 2017, 1:30 am IST
Updated : Mar 11, 2017, 5:57 am IST

The characters on the screen are very fragile and almost disintegrate on a little bit of probing.

A still from the movie Kong: Skull Island
 A still from the movie Kong: Skull Island

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

The trouble with such films is they first create a crisis situation and then try to solve it the wrong way, and they expect the audience to play along. The other trouble with such films is, sometimes they want it to be believable and so they try to place it in some kind of a real-world timeline and location, and give you maps, gadgets and the military, and again they want the audience to play fool. The characters on the screen are very fragile and almost disintegrate on a little bit of probing. These days they also give you superfine three-dimensional images hoping that you will buy into it. But in my opinion, the audience leaves feeling cheated, mislead and annoyed.

Kong is a strange story where right in the first few minutes a character played by John Goodman proclaims that monsters exist, and yet instead of running away, he drives a whole group of people in that direction. If running in that direction was not enough they even drop bombs and wake up the sleeping monsters. The group also includes some crackpots and complete idiots, whose characters have been designed with the sheer objective of failure. Samuel L. Jackson, a man I have had great respect for, plays an unbelievably stupid character. I guess that is what happens when you are making a mega film with no core story and you try to set some pieces up, put in a whole lot of guns and fireworks and hope the audience will not notice the major flaws in the plot lines.

Brie Larson, seems to be someone who would make sense of this entire conundrum in the island, she is a photographer and an anti-war campaigner, someone who worked extensively in the Vietnam War. While Americans have forever to carry the burden of that war, they keep citing it again and again making the memory worse each time.  I wonder how Vietnamese feel about being identified with this war, perhaps they have a wonderful history and culture, but all that the world will ever remember is the Vietnamese War. So Larson enters the island as a photographer, the only visible female member in the team, and she happens to be the girl that Kong has affection for, he saves her life. A white girl is always loved, everywhere, she is the truly compassionate. There is another girl in the team, Jing Tian, but she is Asian, mostly a nerd and is paired with Corey Hawkins who is another nerd and the scientist’s assistant.

So Skull Island is another instalment in the King Kong series and it jumbles up the whole timeline and it makes it rather difficult to believe that it is the same series. The interesting bits however are the survivor who the team encounters on the island, someone who has been on it since the World War II. It seems like he is the happiest person in the world, he is completely unaware of any of the political, social and economic developments. He does desire to see the world, but if he can’t go back he seems to be okay with that too. The rest of the group is the usual mix, a braveheart, a comedian, soldiers who have started losing their grip, scientists who seem to know a lot of things but reveal very less. They also discover an indigenous population of human too who live on the island but they are again same East Asian people (who seem to be Vietnamese) who are always peaceful, ancient and have a lot of body paint.

Apart from the bullets, grenades, bombs and helicopters that had absolutely no reason to engage with something that is unfathomable at the first sight, we also had the commanding officer, Jackson, who was filled with anguish that America could not win the Vietnam War. He also mentions that they “abandoned the war”; for him, the island became another war zone, and Kong became the new enemy and he immediately proclaims, “I know an enemy when I see one”. It is people like these who need to be careful, who do not think rationally and are willing to pick a fight with anyone for anything. My only suggestion to such people is at the least try picking a fight with someone your own size.

The writer is founder, Lightcube Film Society

Tags: tom hiddleston, kong: skull island, jordan vogt-roberts