‘Kong’ is messy but must-see

Kong

Grade B-

By: 
AARON JENNINGS ◆ AARON@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

There’s an old saying in Hollywood that the only thing the public wants to see is the same story on a larger scale. For some, the characters and the story have little importance. It’s about the excitement. The value of production. The twist. The action. The crash, and the explosion. The only things a movie needs is a stunning lady, a charming man, and a few sticks of dynamite. What’s amusing about this theory, is how accurate it is.

I imagine that 99 percent of the public (including myself) would love to see a movie about a guy and a gal and a few sticks of dynamite. That might even work as the title.

“Kong: Skull Island” is a perfect example of the same story on a larger scale. It’s basically all it is. It has more action, a Kong the size of a skyscraper, super attractive actors as leads, and a lot more explosions than any other Kong film. Usually, when production companies decide to make a bigger version of the same thing, it’s a bad thing. And this may be the case with this movie.

“Kong: Skull Island” isn’t made for the same reason the original or even the 2005 Oscar nominated film was. This skull smashing Kong is destined for something other — a Marvel-like franchise with the studio that brought us the recent Godzilla.

I’m not saying this movie is bad because it’s not. There are several positive qualities that I enjoy greatly. One of them being the Vietnam era setting. The story begins is Washington D.C. a few hours after the announcement of the Vietnam War withdrawal. A monster theorist and government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) is recruiting a group of soldiers to pay a visit to the uncharted Skull Island. And United States Army Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and his Sky Devils helicopter squadron have the fire power Randa needs.

Packard feels cheated that America pulled out of the war, and is looking to take his anger out on something else. Packard is a nastier version of Robert Duvall’s classic character Colonel Kilgore from “Apocalypse Now.”

For the complete review, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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