Kong: Skull Island trailer – reaction

KongSkullsmA surfeit of trailers was released over the weekend at the San Diego Comic Con, one of the biggest fan events of the global fan calendar, and among them was the first footage for Kong: Skull Island, directed by The Kings of Summer‘s Jordan Vogt-Roberts from a script by Minority Report‘s Max Borenstein, Flight‘s  John Gatins, Nightcrawler‘s Dan Gilroy and Jurassic World‘s Derek Connolly.

Set in the seventies, the film follows a group of explorers including High-Rise‘s Tom Hiddleston as a former SAS officer, Room‘s Brie Larson as a peace activist photojournalist, Kingsman: The Secret Service‘s Samuel L Jackson as a US Army officer, 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s John Goodman as a government official, Guardians of the Galaxy‘s John C Reilly and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ Toby Kebbell, who find themselves in deep trouble on an uncharted Pacific island.

KongTrailer1The team have viewed the trailer and expressed their opinions, which indicate that they are not currently encouraged to go play with the local wildlife, no matter how impressive it may be…

Dario Persechino – Why Mister Hiddleston you do look damn good posing with pretty filters?

It seems to have a great cast and a good setting but the glimpse of Kong towards the end looked like just another CGI effect. They need to make the creatures look tangible in this beautiful world or all their efforts will be wasted and we’ll have the weaknesses of the 2005 King Kong all over again.

KongTrailer3Jurassic Park more than twenty years ago made on screen creatures look real and physical, since then we’ve seemed to move further and further away from that.

Maggie Symon – Another King Kong remake? I wish Hollywood would just get original, or have they exhausted the seventy five original plot lines and got stuck “re-imaging.” Not impressed.

Adam Dworak – I was never a fan of King Kong but somehow I can imagine why that romantic story about beauty and the beast was so appealing to some, but this is just awful. From the trailer I am guessing the melodramatic side of the story has been removed or at least marginalised so instead of beautiful, emotional story we will have boys with guns chasing an ape for two hours.

KongTrailer4It’s the 21st century and I need much more to believe or at least pretend that I believe in from the presented world – there are no undiscovered islands anymore and what exactly would such a huge warm-blooded animal eat on that remote island?

By removing the story from its original timeframe it lost both sense and credibility.

Michael Flett – My biggest fear was that this was a sequel or follow-up to Peter Jackson’s appalling 2005 remake of King Kong, which took overindulgence to a level rarely seen before, but regrettably subsequently seen in his three volume adaptation of The Hobbit.

KongTrailer2No, instead this is apparently a completely new version, the plan being that it is tied with Gareth Edward’s 2014 Godzilla, which frankly is the only thing that gives me hope, though that shrivels and dies with the knowledge that following Godzilla 2, aiming for a 2019 release, that in 2020 we will have to suffer Godzilla vs. Kong. Why, just why?

It has an indie director whom I’ve never heard of – not a problem in itself, as before Godzilla Gareth had only made Monsters, the eptiome of independent going big – and four screenwriters, one of whom also wrote Godzilla, and the others… I see Reel Steel in their credits…

While four writers is always a warning sign, more encouraging is that Dan Gilroy co-wrote Tarsem’s glorious The Fall as well as writing and directing Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal, and Derek Connolly wrote both Safety Not Guaranteed, which I didn’t like, and Jurassic World, which I did, though it was little more than a well done greatest hits package.

KongTrailer6I suspect they were brought in to, ahem, substantially revise and redraft the original proposal.

As to what we have here… Oh, look, military might brought low by the rampaging force of nature. Why bother? Haven’t we seen this so many times, Godzilla itself being a fine recent example. It’s just hardware and explosions but there will have to be more to it in order for me to care.

Yes, it has a great cast – and seriously, with Tom, Samuel, John G and John C R and Toby on board, it is a great cast – but all I can feel watching it is “you brought it on yourselves, I have no sympathy.”

KongTrailer7Apparently the whole thing will be tied with the Monarch agency, and I was trying to spot their logo on the hardware, but to no avail; possibly this will not only be a Kong origin but also the Monarch origin story.

This was premiered at the San Diego Comic Con where there is so much on, it needs to make an impact, and subtlety and characterisation isn’t going to fly, so crashing helicopters and big guns was the order of the day, but the second trailer is going to have to be a lot more interesting for me to invest my time in it.

For now, I just want to leave the wild animals alone.

Kong: Skull Island is scheduled for release on 10th March 2017