DATELINE: Cast Offs
We always grow wary when friends warn us off a movie. We were told it was terrible and to avoid it, but we are always ready for an adventure with Kong: Skull Island.
For the first forty minutes or so, we felt our friends betrayed us. The film was witty, funny, and satirized the 1970s with an icy edge, even showing us a Nixon bobblehead (yes, it is historically accurate). There are some delightful actors playing it for fun initially.
Rife with 70s music, scenes of Vietnam soldiers are sent on a special mission to a mysterious location by Pentagon shill John Goodman.
He hires guide Conrad (Tim Hiddleston) to lead them into the Heart of Darkness. Indeed, repartee between characters is outright delicious. You even have one-note Samuel L. Jackson as the vindictive colonel who has nothing much in his wallet or his head.
When Kong shows up to defend his indigenous natives and John C. Reilly, someone hired a second set of writers to send the film into comic book realm with copious plagiarizing.
You might generously call the fight between Kong and other monsters a tribute to the original film, but we call it blatant lack of originality. If you want to give the film the benefit of doubt, you will be sorry.
Someone decided that Vera Lynn’s marvelous song, “We’ll Meet Again,” used in Dr. Strangelove by Kubrick would be a great way to set up a sequel with a return to see Kong again.