Skål, Ireland

I … I had nothing. It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I was meant to catch up with some Irish friends last night because Thursday was for some reason the day they did the Embassy thing this year, possibly to curb the drunken rowdiness. But then the whole thing fell apart (my St. Patrick’s Day curse is definitely a thing and is yet to be broken) and so instead of having a few pints after the movie, I went home and did some random writing.

Anyway, the movie I went to see, with The Pas and Mr. BRKN, was Kong: Skull Island. So, it being St. Patrick’s … skål … it’s Swedish and it sounds … do you see?

Oh forget it.

I yet again don’t have much to say (and I’m still aware that I always say this when I wind up having quite a lot to say), this was a fun movie with lots of big CGI monsters and a heap of explosions and occasional funny one-liners. And it can be no surprise to anyone paying attention that at this point it looks like the Kaijuverse (MUTOverse? Monsterverse? Monsterverse seems to be the accepted terminology but I find it uninspired) is going to start coming together.

I was excited by little treats like the Monarch thing finally taking shape, becoming the SHIELD of the Kaijuverse – or, in the case of John Goodman’s character, I guess the Agent Carter-era-or-slightly-later equivalent. Also, he used the MUTO terminology, referring to the Hollow Earth as being a source for “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms”. So, not just referring to the things we see in the latest Godzilla movie[1] anymore.

[1] And speaking of that movie, I had to look back at my review thereof (linked later on in this review), and I have to say that basically the same review could have stood here. So points for consistency, both for the creators of the Kaijuverse and the creator of the Hatstand!

And of course there’s the big ones, like Mothra and Rodan and King Ghidorah (I have done a little research on Wikizilla, since it’s been a long time since my university days and I don’t remember much about the old classics we marathon’d back then). Whether these movies are going to be able to stand up to the might of the Marvel Universe or whatever sort of coherent attempt at a continuity DC is scrambling to put together, I suppose remains to be seen.

kong (4)

True Facts: These cave paintings were done by the Bluegolems. It’s a huge weird trap, man. And this right here is my proposal for how the whole damn thing is going to be tied together. Because I started already. Turns out the MUTOs were kaiju Xenomorphs, planted on Earth by the Bluegolems to wipe out the dominant species. When they chestburst from a Godzilla, MUTO. When they chestburst from a Kong, Skullcrawler. Still working out the kinks.

Personally, it takes a bit of the fun out of it for me when movie companies begin bringing their movies together and coming up with the unifying theories I would otherwise have enjoyed making. But it’s also fun to see it all come together according to someone else’s feverish imaginings once in a while too. I’d really like this to fold into Pacific Rim, but I’m afraid it’s not going to. Except in my version, where it totally fucking does because Godzilla is Glenn.

We just need to amend the “deep ocean trench radiation” to “Hollow Earth chasms radiation”, which actually makes more sense anyway. And add in some big apes. Done. Sorted.


I’d also just like to point out that the guy who was giving the approvals for the whole Monarch thing, and the trip to Skull Island … was this guy. Oh, this Unifying Theory is happening, bitches.

I find myself wondering how they’re going to bridge the gap between the Vietnam-era Kong-tinuity and the Godzilla storyline which was more or less present-day. On the plus side, maybe that means Hiddleston and Larson won’t need to be in it. Sadly, it may also mean Reilly isn’t in it either. And this remark allows me to segue neatly into the characters.

See, I think what we need to get our heads around here is that these are kaiju movies. The giant-arse monsters are the characters. If we can fit maybe one or two interesting human characters in there amidst the running / screaming / being squashed crowd, that’s fine. I can’t say I remember any of the characters from Godzilla, and that’s okay. Skull Island had John C Reilly, and that was enough. He fucking killed it.

kong (1)

Pictured: A character in Kong: Skull Island. Human added for scale.

Samuel L Jackson was also good, as your classic Captain Ahab ‘Nam-paranoid[2] army guy, but it was all a bit un-nuanced and flat-out vengeance-crazy. And again, that’s alright. It suits the movie. If your character’s not going to be soulful and brilliant (Reilly), then it might as well be cartoonish (Jackson) or a goddamn space-filler (Hiddleston, Larson, Goodman, every other scientist and soldier in the movie). It’s alright. It’s okay. Pour more budget into spectacular monster effects and explosions, and save the writers’ salaries for movies where they need a script. I hope you paid them just enough in this case to give us Reilly, because they earned it.

[2] And did you notice? They actually played Paranoid! Another thing this movie did right was the soundtrack, but when you’re doing a Vietnam-era movie, the music is generally going to be good.

kong (2)

Or spend it on napalm. I’m fine with you spending the money on napalm.

Larson’s character was reasonably cool, she had a bit of facility and at least didn’t stumble down the regular King Kong road[3] of being Kong’s pet / creepy girlfriend. Very much. I tend to agree with the Movie Fights guy who said that she was a terrible photographer. No sense of journalistic non-interference (although that might have been more in keeping with the times), and she didn’t take all that many decent pictures. And then they all get classified or something anyway, right?

[3] Although I’m calling it right now as I did in the cinema: the YouTube How It Should Have Ended of this movie is going to have a squashed and mangled Brie Larson in Kong’s hand when he opens it after the big Skullcrawler fight. If it doesn’t, then they have dropped the ball in a massive way.

Yeah, she was a … a character who was in the movie, alright.

kong (3)

“Run like there’s a green screen after you.”

And poor old Hiddleston. He had a moment of badassery in the first scene he was in, and then was basically a big nothin’ for the rest of the movie. The guy just needs to be Loki. Sorry.

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Maybe for the next movie, the weird Mothra Fairies can be characters. And then, Ant Man crossover!

Fun movie. I think people who were disappointed by it had possibly the wrong sort of expectations. This was definitely the best King Kong movie I have ever seen, and that includes the old classics as well as the Lord of the Rings version. All the creatures I could have asked for, except of course it might have been nice to see some dinosaurs. There was a triceratops skull, so we know they existed there. Oh well.

Pacific Rim still pisses all over both the Kong and Godzilla movies of the Twenty-Teens in my opinion, but they’re still pretty good. Bring on the next, I say.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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2 Responses to Skål, Ireland

  1. stchucky says:

    Either HISHE or CinemaSins (or both) need to tackle the question of how exactly the fuck Kong ripped the tongue and entire allied digestive system out of the King Skullcrawler while also holding Weaver in his hand. That shit is not possible.

  2. JonathanBloom says:

    I really loved vietKong. Especially how far they went with some of the cool monster designs (that spider forest bit freaked me the hell out). But as you say, the characters did need some work, even if Reilly and Jackson were standouts. I did like Goodman too, but he’s always reliable and fun, and he did have one hell of an exit in this.

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