At 84, King Kong is getting pretty damn old. Granted, he’s a touch younger than others in his crowd — Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster hark back to the 19th century — but, unlike them, he began on the silver screen rather than in literature or folklore.
Created in 1933 by Merian C. Cooper, the massive monkey has inspired a string of sequels, reboots and remakes in the decades since. It’s been *checks watch* 12 years since the last one (Peter Jackson’s King Kong), so I guess it’s time to strap in for some giant ape action all over again. Welcome to Skull Island.
Kong: Skull Island is filled with everything you’d expect from a blockbuster in 2017. There are big explosions, awe-inspiring CGI and a stacked cast of talented actors. There’s even groundwork for establishing a cinematic universe (dubbed the “MonsterVerse” and, apparently, kicking off with King Kong vs Godzilla in 2020).
But — again, as you’d expect from a blockbuster in 2017 — it feels more like a “movie-flavoured product” (with apologies to Matt Zoller Seitz) than an actual honest-to-goodness movie. Despite its post-Vietnam War setting and posters modelled after Apocalypse Now, Kong: Skull Island isn’t interested in saying anything more substantive than, “Whoa, did you see that!?”