So last night I headed out to see this flick in the city with a friend of mine. The whole city was a big mess with the no subway thing and we gotta totally ripped off by a friggin cab driver. Uch. We get to the place and I was disappointed because it was an old school theater. The seats weren't rocky or cushy. The screen was slightly small. And I was nervous about the sound sucking. Fortunately once the previews started I heard the sound was aok and relaxed a little. I hoovered popcorn while the previews ran. I saw the trailer for Miami Vice. It looked like a glowing neon turd covered in alligator urine.
Ok Kong. It wasn't starving for it but I was pretty psyched for it. From the beginning something has felt a tad off about Kong. Maybe it was the trailer that covered too much ground for my tastes. Maybe it was the initial critic reviews that seemed written by the studio. Maybe it was Adrian Brody and Jack Black with guns being dorky heros. Maybe it was the whole... why is Kong back again? Who asked for this again? Bueller? But after the lameass stretch of crap movies that floundered around for months I was revved for something that might make me put my hands to the sides of my head and drop my mouth open. This had the best shot of doing that I assumed.
Want the good news or the bad news first? Good news? Ok. I'm a good news first kind of guy myself. The good news is Kong himself is very friggin excellent to look at and run around and smash things and do things. Good looking ape. The best ape since Grape. I was into Kong's expressions. I liked that he was fur dirty and scarred. I bought into him not biting Blondie's head off right off the bat. She seemed entertaining enough to keep around. I dug their relationship and was onboard there. 75% of the action scenes kicked ass up and down the street two times quick. The island was goodly big and weird. The creatures were cool both big and small. And like a spoiled snob I liked how expensive everything looked.
The bad news. First hour was a waste of my fruckin time. If you wanna go three hours I really don't need the first hour of it filled with Hack Black running around like a wang. And I felt (besides Blondie and Serkis) the whole place was a big miscast. Not sure why Adrien Brody was there. Was this guy really an Oscar winner? He looks like he should be on Scrubs. I'm half on board with Hack Black but something about his flesh faced grin and eyebrows distracted me from his character. Some of the effects slipped into CGI old school cheese now and then. (And I was sort of pissed that the trailer had a scene that wasn't in the movie. When Hack is on the island filming and the Kong roar goes off and he says, 'Herb get the camera...' Yeah... not in the movie at all. Not even close. Don't scam me you bastards with your fake preview crap!)
The struggle with me and this movie was just me keeping my head in the game. I was in and out the whole time. Sometimes wowed for sure but I even dropped out of some action scenes after a while. It's almost like I could see Action Jackson watching the studio dailies of a fight between a dinosaur and kong and saying, 'Hold it! Hold it! You know what this scene needs??.... More dinosaur!!' (Like more cowbell). And everyone mumbles in agreement about extra dinosaurs... and the sweaty execs scribble in a checkbook, tear one out and hand it over their shoulder to some bean counter lackey.
Bad dialogue and logic problems started to become just as noticeable as the action. No name faces getting killed off was very yawny afterthought. When a whole boat load of people got killed I'd wonder who was in that boat. Anyone important? Then I would shrug and whatever it. Throughout the movie I was too low on juice. If the action looked so coolio... why wasn't it getting me bouncy in my seat? How did I yawn once during 'spectacular' action? Why was I so easily distracted by the cast? Why didn't I get teary when Kong died? Where was my heart in all this? Then it dawned on me.... I just didn't care enough.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I liked visiting Skull Island. It was fun walking around there for a little
while and look at stuff.
- I appreciated Action Jackson's passion for trying to give people their money's worth.
- If the movie was just Kong hanging out in his natural environment the whole time. I could have just watched that and been fine. He was such a natural.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- Plotwise it was unrealistic on and off throughout (logically not
- The music was so typical da-da-dum! DOM DOMMM!
- The fact that it went so by the numbers left no room for real surprises.
All in all for anyone who digs action movies this flick is fun goodness and worth the friggin money easy. But a few of the big action sequences were noticeably total overkill and spaced too close together. I seriously think if I skipped the first 45 minutes of this flick and watched it from that point on I would have liked it more. It was just too long. By the time the end of the movie started in- I was worn out and looking forward to finally seeing the big ape take the big fall. And if this machine were running on all cylinders kongwise-- I should have been totally dreading that splat.