Newest King Kong film revolutionizes the franchise
New King Kong film redefines the decades long franchise
April 6, 2017
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The release of the most recent remake of King Kong has modernized the classic franchise.
Kong Skull Island manages to stay true to the classic King Kong films, while simultaneously reinventing the somewhat dated film.
The new adaptation portrays the story of a massive ape fighting for his own survival, as well as protecting Skull Island’s ecosystem by scaring off the Big Skullcrawler, a prehistoric animal that destroys everything in it’s way.
The director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, re-imagined and brought to life this new version of Kong.
Unlike previous remakes, Skull Island is set in the year 1973, taking spectators in 2017 back to a somewhat forgotten time.
The Vietnam War had recently ended, and two paranoid scientists Bill Randa (John Goodman), and Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), figure out a way to make a military escorted expedition to map the exotic island.
They bring along a fugitive guard (James Conrad) and an intelligent photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) to help them take on the mysterious land where they are now trapped.
When the group lands on “Skull Island,” the visitors are met by the island native; a massive, terrifying ape named Kong.
Choppers charge Kong, but the beast manages to push them away and watches triumphantly as they burn at his feet.
This angers American Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), and as a result, Packard becomes set on seeking revenge for the death of his men.
This vengeful act by the Colonel contradicts the rest of the citizens, who desperately want to get off the island.
Vogt-Roberts produced the films with an experienced eye that manages to capture both the pre-historic and modern motifs in the film.
The movie is still a traditional King Kong movie, but it isn’t a redundant remake of the story that most people have heard.
It differs from other versions in that it’s an action film that’s able to amplify the original intent of the film with modern technology and special effects.
Vogt-Roberts left out the building-crumbling effects that are present in many of the
remakes, and chose to focus on characters development.
He also focused on making the movie look real rather than merely action packed.
The movie was shot live on location in Vietnam.
Rather than use a green screen, Vogt-Roberts made the decision to invest in the location to give the film a more realistic feel.
Interestingly, this Kong was the first film to have the main female character be viewed as powerful instead of helpless.
Mason ends up in Kong’s palm, but the bizarre romance that we’ve seen in past Kongs is gone.
This change in story line is no accident. It proves that Hollywood, one of the biggest influencers in society, is taking baby steps to aid in the fight for gender equality.
Though a small detail, this is also the first King Kong film to feature a brunette as the female lead rather than a blonde.
Perhaps the franchise is opening up to a new idea of beauty that it hasn’t before.
These advancements for women illustrate how Hollywood is closely connected to political and social issues, and it shows just how different this Kong film is from it’s predecessors.
The equality of women in the film is far from perfect, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Each generation has made a spin off of the King Kong franchise, continuing to ingrain the King Kong films into American culture.
The first “King Kong” hit movie theaters in 1933, and since then it has been remade five times.
“King Kong Vs. Godzilla” (1963) was a successful spin off of the original classic with the addition of Godzilla: A giant dragon-like creature that tries to destroy Kong. Godzilla and Kong fight their way through New York City in an epic battle that leaves the city in ruin.
In 1976 there was yet another remake of the movie. In this adaptation, the main male character was an oil crazed businessman instead of the former explorer seen in the earliest film.
The petroleum frenzy follows
the business man as he travels to Skull Island with a group of people, including a woman that the giant gorilla falls in love with.
The next remake in 2005 is arguably the most popular, creating the image of King Kong that most of us associate with the franchise.
The remake paid homage to the original roots of the Kong legacy by opting to keep the story line similar.
The director, Peter Jackson, focused on creating a realistic world instead of making many changes to the story.
The final and most recent remake, “Kong: Skull Island,” was released in early March of 2017 and has taken the box office by storm.
In the first five days, the film raised $20 million at the box office.
If viewers were expecting a remake of the original King Kong film, the newest film is not for them.
It challenges the traditional ideas of what King Kong was and what it should be, and brings to light the new wave of cinematography that’s taking Hollywood by storm.
Moreover, the film incorporates a healthy mixture of political messages as well as providing a strong female lead.
With so many adaptations produced in the past few years, it has become a challenge to create an innovative and creative sequel.
Kong: Skull Island defied expectations for a Hollywood sequel.
Without a novel to follow, and therefore less fans engaged with the exact story line, the creators of Kong are free to create the fictional world as they desire.
Warner Bros. studio has announced that a new King Kong vs. Godzilla movie is set to be released in 2020. Until then, Kong fans must wait in anticipation for the new release.