Blog, Film, Guest Post, LL, Review, Writing

Guest Post: The Monkey King Returns

Welcome To The Review!

Welcome back to another review from LL! It’s good to be putting up another post for all of you. This week we focus on another remake, but one that has been done….too many times that I believe Kong should sit on his throne for many years to come. Again I will say if you have not seen it and intend to, then I suggest you tread lightly as there will be spoilers here!

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And without further ado, let us begin.


Who Knew A Skull Could Be Beautiful?

Although Skull Island triggers warning signals, it was a beautiful but simplistic jungle, in which we follow the few survivors in their battle to escape vast open landscapes, as well as tall trees in which creatures could hide. However, what I thought was amazing was the indigenous tribe and their home, in which they secluded themselves to. They created amazing constructions, to keep themselves away from harm, as well as their looming caves, in which their drawings were kept of the creatures they live with.

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The theme of the 70’s era matched perfectly with the idea of discovering this island. There was, at the time, a cold war, the US had previously sent man to space, and, as well as that, music was changing its wave, into the Rock genre (hence why the soundtrack of this film consisted of a mostly Rock-reminiscent soundtrack). So, the idea of discovery matched the timeframe significantly.

Monkey See, Monkey Do!

Now, here is where I draw my line! King Kong (king of all monkeys) has been around since 1953. So, over 60 years of seeing this monkey, you would have thought he’d be put to rest by now…right? Unfortunately, not. Hollywood cinema (nowadays) will recreate some of the best classics and tarnish it. I feel that, in ways, we weren’t focussing on Kong at all this entire film. Instead we were subjected to the survival of our protagonist cast, which is disappointing.

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Now, onto the cast. There were decent choices, but a few weren’t needed. We have Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad, the rough rider leading the geologists through the environment. It’s a very good pick, but it seems like a very similar character archetype to Chris Pratt’s role, in Jurassic World. Then, their second big pick was Samuel L. Jackson, performing the role of Colonel Preston Packard, a war bound leader that has taken over his entire life. It’s another good pick, but the idea of the character itself was not realistic. Yes, a man would want redemption for losing his own soldiers, but when facing the likes of a building sized monkey, that makes the idea itself as insane.

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John C. Reilly’s character (Hank Marlow) to me made the most sense, as the remaining survivors needed someone who knew the land, and creatures, to guide them through. The fact that he had a few screws loose was perfect, as that is what would happen to a man after years of being the only modern man on an island. Finally, we have the journalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), who is the only character that fully interested me. From her constant photographing, and faint emotion towards Kong, shows that she was the only one there to bring proof back, and actually care about the island and its inhabitants.

Hollywood Has A Monkey On It’s Back

Here, I have to talk about the plot and boy is it a debatable one. So, two geologists hire a “mercenary”, a journalist and multiple squads to escort them to the island, and across their expedition.  Yes, I understand there is a big risk, so the mercenary makes sense, the geologists too, make sense, as they practically hand picked the place. The journalist is to go for the evidence, but why in god’s name would you take a WHOLE platoon with you!!! Yes, it’s uncharted lands, and anything deadly could be there, but that many soldiers is a waste. Then, after watching them being swatted down like a human with a flyswatter, it’s just painful.

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After a horrible crash landing, we finally are given explanation as to why they are sent there in the first place. Then, we follow the separated groups in their foolproof plan of escaping. Sure nothing could go wrong…. right? Of course it goes bottoms up. Massive sinister creatures that could trample on you, rip you apart, or simply devour you surround our characters leaving us to believe that, realistically, they should all die. Nope, instead, one half of the group stumble across an indigenous tribe, and a lone survivor, whilst the other half (consisting of nearly the remaining soldiers with their Colonel) continue to fire their way through as the trigger happy warriors they are.

And to finalise the piece, we understand that Kong is not killing them to protect his land, but in actual fact preventing the humans to wake up the real beasts of the island. Cue final escape plan. But no, it can’t be a proper escape, without an actual battle between Kong and another massive creature. We watch as Kong is saved by the remaining survivors, in which he returns the favour by saving them, followed by his roar. How does Hollywood sign the film off? With a credits moment, where John C. Reilly’s character joins humanity again, followed by a post credits scene, leading us to believe there will be a sequel. God damn it Hollywood WHY!!!!

Final Thoughts

Well as repetitive as the Kong films are, they still put up a good fight to interest the audience. A beautiful design to fit the 70s theme of discovery with a well rounded cast selection. However, a tasteless plot, followed by poor humour choices, to try and make up for it, makes me feel like the king of monkeys himself needs to be put to bed, after this film, he deserves a long rest, after the amount of remakes he has had.


Well that wraps up this review, what did you think of the film? Did the return of the monkey king reign supreme? Or was it all jus monkey business? Leave your thoughts below whether they be critical or not.

And now I bid you all farewell, till next time. LL

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