After all that start of year Oscar activity, there has been barely a watchable film in April.
This wasn’t a terrible idea of a film, but it turned out that way. Going on an expedition to a lost island that you last managed to escape during WW2 kind of makes sense. Not telling anyone you saw monsters there also does.
Just as the Vietnam War is ending, Bill Randa (John Goodman) manages to convince his bosses in the government to let him take a team to explore this little known island. They call upon a military escort which pleases Lieutenant Packard (Samuel L Jackson) as he didn’t really want to return home from the war anyway. It’s not long before several military planes take the scientists and soldiers first through a storm and then straight into the waiting force of Kong who acts quickly to protect his island.
Despite coming up against King Kong and losing lives, for some reason, they carry on shooting and having their helicopters flicked to the ground by Kong’s mighty little finger (not really, but that would have been funnier).
Depleted, and without any transport to get them back to the rendezvous collection point they are still instructed by the war-addict Packard, to get the better of Kong, oblivious to the real human eating monsters that await them too. One by then, they get annihilated as they get in the way or even try to confront the King of the island or any of his less civilised enemies.
None of the film makes sense, except obviously, King Kong. Why in 2017 Kong still has to have an instinct to protect the little belong? Why couldn’t he have bonded with a man? The plot is awful, the writing ok and the huge cast do their best – Marlow has the best lines but explaining him would be a spoiler. The early 1970s soundtrack helped and frankly it’s got a giant ape in it so that’s (almost) good enough for me.
Somehow this film is still running when so many good ones are not but if you can suspend disbelief, then there is a story of loss in the mix that is really rather sweet.