kingpendragon’s review published on Letterboxd:
Style Over Substance: The Movie
literally all i need to say, but because i largely dislike single sentence reviews i will expand.
uh yeah, so, the major issue of the film as all these monster-based movies have are the human characters. weirdly the set of characters are genuinely quite good in a sense. there is a decent selection of personalities. different personalities means different reactions and relationships and discussions. it’s the makings of a good human story, but like uh it’s just generic Kong story with; those who wanna escape, and the single one who believes they’re above Kong.
all they sorta do is walk about, tell pretty terrible MCU jokes, and drive forward the non-Kong action which is just die or shoot. i don’t think they’re terrible, but like they’re given all this personality, yet when even the slightest emotional thing happens it’s played off as a subversion shock joke.
but i do like the change in tone from uh ‘Zilla14 // i feel it fits the era quite well, even if it makes light-hearted work of such a bloody awful time. but this splash of colour in contrast to the 2014 film is good imo. these are two different animals with vastly contrasted backgrounds and abilities and such, and having their films be different is reflective of their different being.
but also the tone bleeds into the aesthetic which is undeniably gorgeous. it’s as if Zack Snyder found a box of crayons hiding beneath his moody sunglasses. slow motion; action framed perfect; colours and madness. pure visual bliss —
the music is also pretty great. needle drops be leading into the era, as well as the stolen aesthetic from Vietnam films, but the score is coolio too. just as ‘Zilla14s score, it’s kinda generic a lot of the time, but certain leitmotifs are recognisable and i love them. there’s this certain eerie twang that goes off whenever Jackson’s character’s hatred for Kong grows as his men are killed. it’s soooo goooood.
through this aesthetic there have been a couple of changes to things. i feel Skull Island itself is quite unbalanced. the landscape is so unnaturally patched with super dangerous unique landscape, then completely safe fields and mountains and rivers. it doesn’t feel as alien and terrifying as King Kong 2005. there are some monsters and locations that work really well like the Bamboo spiders, but these parts are rare.
i also adore the change to the indigenous islanders. instead of savage black folk (a hollywood cliche i’m sick of), they’re enlightened sorta asian folk (uh lowkey realising as i type this out, this is a form of stereotyping lmao enlightened asians; but haven’t seen a single person complain about that, so i shan’t start). but like they’re not savages, and i adore their face paint it’s very cool.
i feeeel this change links into a maybe sorta unintentional, maybe intentional, maybe always relevant to a King Kong story theme about man vs nature. how we do nothing but destory, conquer and kill. and well this film has that. with the giant moss cow stuck under the helicopter and shit. which honestly links fuckin immaculately into the Vietnam era, which kinda immaculately links to the indigenous villagers.
any fucking way. Kong is okay. lacks a personality other than Hunky Hero. also looks uh a bit weird. the gorilla design kinda devolved back to the 30s design just with outstanding cgi and animation.
also is it me or does the water look kinda fuckin horrible?????
anyway, fun movie, but uh not very intelligent; however i’d rather all blockbusters be like this, than 75% of the garbage the world gives us.