Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Bill Randa is a man on a mission, and that mission is to visit Skull Island.  What will he find there?  He’s not quite sure.  It’s the last undiscovered piece of land, so no one’s really sure.  It could be the next cure for something.  It could be nothing.  Either way, he has to go.  He even hires James Conrad, tracker extraordinaire, to guide the mission and arranges for a military escort led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard.  Joining the group is photographer Mason Weaver.

The group makes it to the island safely.  That safety lasts about five minutes.  Once they start dropping seismic charges, something attacks, and it’s big.  It starts throwing the helicopters back at the rest of the formation.  Yes, it’s Kong.   He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it any more.  All of the helicopters are destroyed, leaving a few survivors.  Those survivors have three days to make it to the other side of the island to be rescued.  If they don’t, they’re going to have a lot of time to get to know the big ape.

Along the way, they meet the island’s natives, who have been hosting downed pilot Hank Marlow.  Marlow seems to know the area pretty well.  He explains that Kong is like a god to the locals.  Killing him would be a bad idea.  Packard develops an Ahab-like hatred of Kong, which is understandable.  A lot of his men have died at the giant’s hands.

The carnage isn’t even limited to the initial encounter.  There are a lot of other creatures on the island, many of them huge.  Several people are attacked by a giant spider.  Others are killed by these weird looking things I can’t even describe.  Several dozen people land on the island.  Don’t expect to see most of them in the sequel.  (There is a post-credits scene linking this movie with the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong.)

It’s odd that for a shared universe, the first three movies seem to have such little continuity, especially since Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters are both about the same creature.  Kong, I can understand being different.  It’s about a different creature that will be brought in later.  However, Godzilla was one of maybe four characters shared between the other two movies.  (There are a few common references, like the Monarch organization and the theory of a hollow Earth.)

This entry was at least decent.  It was a solid, single-track story.  The movie doesn’t jump around from one story to another.  It’s about a group of people trying to make it off an island they had no business being on in the first place.  We get to see a fair amount of action, but there‘s also some dialogue.  (Most of it is about war, as the movie starts on the last day of the Viet Nam War.)

I had seen this in hopes of watching next year’s Godzilla vs. Kong, although I don’t know that it will matter.  As I may have indicated, there doesn’t seem to be much overlap between this movie and the others.  In fact, Godzilla vs. Kong will seem to have a few characters in common with Godzilla: King of the Monsters.  Other than that, there doesn’t seem to be much in common except the title monsters.  I guess I’ll have to watch the movie to see what happens.

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