King Kong (1976) Review

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I wasn’t a big fan of the original King Kong film or the recent 2017 one. I’m just not a King Kong fan at all which may seem odd since I’ve always enjoyed Godzilla and Gamera. It all comes down to the fact that he’s a big monkey who seems like a 2nd rate Donkey Kong and he’s more interested in the main heroine than being king of the world. That being said, the first two films still made a name for themselves. The original created the character from the ground up and the 2017 version decided to do a very bold re imagining of the whole thing. This one….is just another King Kong film. It tries to follow the original step for step in a rather soulless fashion and is extremely generic. It has the most unlikable King Kong to date and there’s just nothing good about the film. Ah well, prepare yourself!

The film starts off with Fred wanting to head to an unknown island to grab some oil and get rich. It’s a perfect scheme and he ignores all of the variables and tough weather. Unfortunately for him, a man named Jack has stowed away on the ship and this guy isn’t exactly a pro. He breaks his cover by interrupting a big meeting to point out that the atmosphere is getting crazy and there’s probably a big Ape on the island. After a lot of laughing and everyone putting their game faces on, they decide to let Jack walk free. He’ll help them whether he likes it or not. This works quite well for Jack since he wanted to be on the island anyway. They come across a lady in the ocean named Dwan. Her cruise full of people was destroyed and they all died, but she gets over it in the span of 5 seconds. She’s more interested in being a star who will achieve fame and glory after all. The problem is that she shines too brightly and is kidnapped by the natives on the island and given to King Kong. Jack must save her for purely professional reasons while Fred wants to capture King Kong and bring him to the city. No way anything tricky is going to happen because of that!

Lets run through the negatives right off the bat. The whole scene of King Kong bathing Dwan and drying her off was pretty terrible. Then messing with her clothes before getting interrupted was just as bad. If anything, King Kong should think of her as a pal or someone who needs protecting. The film just did a really bad job here and he should have stuck to being the King Kong who just goes around breaking his opponents. You can never tell if he’s heroic or if he just wants to get on Dwan’s good side. You wouldn’t catch Godzilla making a fool of himself this way. It’s just hard to like anybody here, but these scenes are painfully long and hurt the film.

As this is a King Kong film, we get the obligatory scene of him destroying normal animals like a giant snake. This is one trope that I could certainly live without. You can’t help but feel bad for the snake and while the scene isn’t super violent since it’s so old and low budget, it still qualifies as animal violence. I don’t want to see the snake get ripped in half, I wanted to see him win!

There’s not much to say about Fred. He wants to get rich and that is his character plain and simple. He’s as generic as it gets. I don’t really mind the guy though and he does better than some of the other characters. Jack’s a reasonable main character I guess, but he’s usually content to stay back and watch from the sidelines. We never learn why he is so athletic and manages to elude King Kong when the trained professionals could not, but I guess we’ll just chalk that up to being the main character. He’s not very fun either as he doesn’t get much of a purpose in the film. So, he wants to meet King Kong, but why? I guess it’s for his job since this is like a hobby, but it feels like such a weak motivation. He quickly takes control of every situation so that’s nice for his hype, but he’s just there. I would say the same for Dwan, but it’s a worse situation for her. She’s not generic like the rest, but she’s just a bad character. She lets her guard down constantly and maybe considering that they’re in enemy territory at night, she shouldn’t stay by the water. She was kidnapped without a struggle and she spent most of the film being traded as a prisoner from one group to the next. Once she was finally freed, she didn’t even get to enjoy the city much as King Kong found her and then the reporters soon followed. She never got any peace or quiet and didn’t have a tough enough personality to get everyone to back off. She just let everyone do as they pleased and this doesn’t help her character at all.

Beyond all of this, it’s just a rather boring film. King Kong’s home isn’t very flashy or fun. The tribe acts completely evil as you’d expect and they basically just vanish once the kidnapping is over. It’s like they knew their roles were over and ran off as soon as possible. I also don’t get the concept of building a large wall to keep King Kong out. I mean..he agreed to it for some reason and stays away, but the wall won’t actually do anything. If he wanted to get out, then he could. It also reminds me that King Kong is totally evil here since he accepts the sacrifices every time the tribe brings them out. Not exactly something a nice monster would do. The city climax should have been really hype but since King Kong is incredibly slow and not all that durable it wasn’t entertaining. You were just waiting for the army to shoot him so we could get the whole thing over with. I wouldn’t call King Kong’s mild struggle by waving his arms around a real climax to be honest.

Overall, This King Kong film is about as bad as the rest, likely slightly worse. It had no individuality or creativity in its corner. It was just another King Kong film that completely played everything by the books. It should have been bold and taken some different twists or turns. That likely would have helped a lot. The heroine and King Kong scenes bring the film down along with the animal violence. You could argue that Dwan was used more for fanservice than as an actual character which is just sad. I highly recommend avoiding this film if you possibly can. Watch any other King Kong film instead, you’ll have a better time. At least the new film won’t make many of these mistakes since Godzilla will be fighting King Kong next time. Unless King Kong 2 comes out first, but I hope the crossover is on the top of the priority list. It could make other mistakes, but I want to have hope that King Kong will surprise us with a good film. At the moment, his only good movie is Godzilla vs King Kong and once again it was Godzilla who had to pick up the slack.

Overall 2/10

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King Kong vs Nemo




This is a tribute to Kong: Skull Island. While his low durability for a big Kaiju was exposed, King Kong’s ingenuity and hand to hand skills helped him claim the win. He was able to think about how to win and did a good job of using the elements around him. I can’t say that Nemo is quite as versatile. He can try to swim away but it will be futile. King Kong wins.

Kong: Skull Island Review

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It’s time to take a look at the new King Kong film. I’m not a King Kong fan nor will I ever be at this rate, but this film got a lot of hype since it’s in the same continuity as Godzilla. Maybe the latter’s quality would rub off on King Kong and elevate the series to new heights. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It’s still the same old King Kong with a fresh layer of paint. It makes the same mistakes although at least it doesn’t force any random romance plots into the film. Still, you can’t help but wish that the film had chosen a very different path.

The film is about two scientists convincing the government that they should head to Kaiju island to see what’s there. They are escorted by Preston and his team of commandos along with James, a skilled mercenary. They decide to bomb the island to scare everyone into submission, but this wakes up the mighty King Kong. The majority of the “heroes” are destroyed in the initial confrontation and the survivors have to find a way off the island. That’ll be tough since there are many monsters aside from King Kong. Preston also wants revenge on the big gorilla and he has some guns at the ready. Can he win this round?

One thing about King Kong is that a lot of people don’t find him to be all that scary. Why would they when falling off of a building is enough to destroy him? This version is a little bigger than most of the old film versions so that helps his case a little, but he is still injured by bullets here. A well placed fire blast does a lot of damage as well so I’m going to feel bad for him if he ever has to fight Godzilla. If ordinary fire can do that, imagine what ATOMIC breath will do to him. The poor guy would be incinerated in an instant. The only sad part is that King Kong is the heavy under dog in the fight so I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins as a result. Anyone remember Batman V Superman? The Godzilla angle is the main reason why you guys are watching this film so you should start to consider this angle. I am hyped for the big crossover even if it isn’t happening for quite a while. It’ll certainly be worth the wait. There is an after credits scene in this film so stick around.

Now, why am I disliking this film so much? There are a few reasons, but lets start with the obvious one. The animal violence is a problem here. We get a whole scene where we see Preston blow up a bird’s head. He’s the villain here so it’s to show us how mean he is, but it’s not helping the film’s case at all. There is a very thin line between monsters and animals and this film opted to have them be closer to animals than monsters. Bad move because the violence is a lot worse this way. It’s also sad when you consider that the humans are picking this fight. The monsters were just fine on their own until their island started to get blown up. They were simply defending themselves even if the film tries to get you to root for the humans. Not me, I was on the creatures side from day 1. It doesn’t help that all of the humans are just annoying the whole time. They weren’t all bad though, just not likable enough to be excused.

Preston was certainly not likable at all. The film gave him a ton of hype though so that was amusing. He is so out classed here so I couldn’t take that angle seriously. James is another hype character, but he never gets to do all that much. He has his big scene at the beginning, but he seems to panic just as much as the others and didn’t seem as tough and gritty as you’d expect. His “confrontation” with Mason on the bottom of the ship wasn’t as hype as the film thought it would be. They both talk tough and call each other’s bluff, but neither one actually gets anywhere. They were essentially fueling each other’s ego. James essentially never got any real character and the scene where he grabs a sword was just incredibly random. It also wasn’t a good scene since he was slashing a bunch of bats. Mason wasn’t a bad character either, but she really had no character either. At least she tried to help one of the monsters which was nice. She beats her counterpart from the earlier films. The rest of the cast were basically comic relief and didn’t do anything. A common trend here is that most of the characters weren’t bad, they just weren’t that interesting or likable either.

King Kong’s fight against the Skullcrawler was pretty good. The mini ones were pretty outmatched so they went down quickly, but I’ll definitely take that over the usual T Rex fight. These guys certainly had a better design after all and then the big one made for a nice villain as well. I was actually expecting a plot twist about these guys being the original Godzillas and the final one would return after the credits in his new Godzilla form. Maybe it’s for the best that it didn’t happen, but that would have been interesting. The King Kong vs human scenes are what you’d expect as they just get stomped the whole time. Preston puts up a fight of course, but once the gimmicks are gone, he doesn’t last all that long.

The film had some nice cuts like the spider claw stabbing a poor guy and King Kong rising up above the Sun. Those were probably the highlight as far as the visuals are concerned. I would still take Godzilla 2014 over this though with the awesome energy blasts and the fight against Muto was a lot more fun. What King Kong needs is his own energy blast or an opponent who has one. Of course, then King Kong would probably lose if it’s the latter so maybe he can get his own special attack in the sequel. This film probably took its special effects a little to seriously in some scenes as you’d see the characters load their guns rapid style. A Scooby Doo film used the same trick a while back and I actually don’t care for it. The sounds are distracting if anything and the visuals weren’t cool to look at. Maybe do it for something with a little more pop like a cool lightning blast or something. King Kong doesn’t have much options for that though so the technique is just wasted here.

None of the themes really stood out to me. It’s your standard action film stuff, but without the one stand out theme that is usually around. The end credits really pressed the point as they were eerily silent the whole time. The tune they picked for it really did not work. I’ll give the film some props for having the characters on the island the whole time. The film did start rather quickly and the action never stopped once they were on board. This was a double edged sword with all of the animal violence of course, but in theory it was a good move. I doubt the film would have been much better without the island anyway, maybe it could have scored a 6, but it would have been rather uneventful. You’d be taking the Skull Island out of Kong: Skull Island. New York City is a far superior backdrop, but I guess we can’t have every film take place there. Hopefully the crossover does though as that will really help with the visuals and intensity of the film.

The writing for this film wasn’t terrible. There isn’t constant panic with expletives this time around although they do artificially force the worst word in once just to get the crowd going. With the review just about done, lets briefly talk about what could be cool to see in a sequel. To make the sequel better, we need to have King Kong come to NYC. That’s step 1. Next would be to give King Kong a cool robot suit or a transformation where he grows wings and does battle with a true Kaiju. Next, ensure that the main humans are all red shirts so they can all die in the crossfire without any humans getting too much hype. We don’t want another fire damages King Kong scene after all. Throw in a cool techno theme and we’ll have the makings of a great movie.

Overall, Kong: Skull Island didn’t do it for me, but the odds of me liking the film were never great. You can’t take place on a retro island like this one that’s filled with animals and expect to be good. The odds of animal violence are simply too high and King Kong doesn’t have a great track record either. Also, it’s not like the film was subtle with the animal violence…a bird’s head was blown up…I’m not getting over that one. I don’t care much for apes and monkeys either so it would be very hard for me to really like Kong as a character. He did a good job of protecting his turf of course so I can respect that, but he’s still not all that “cool.” I’m excited for seeing where the cinematic universe goes from here though. We should be getting a lot of hype battles in the near future. Still, you don’t need to see this film to understand that though so I’d recommend checking out Pacific Rim or Godzilla (2014) instead. Both of those films do a better job of tackling the giant monster concept and have far better scenery and backdrops to grab your attention when the monsters aren’t around.

Overall 4/10

Indominus Rex vs King Kong


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Suggested by JHG Indominus Rex is a pretty powerful dinosaur and I think she could actually have a good chance against some of the previous depictions of King Kong. That being said, his 2017 incarnation even rivals that of his Godzilla version with how large it is. Indominus Rex would simply not be on King Kong’s level anymore and the physical difference in strength would be far too drastic to overcome. I don’t see how she can win this match. King Kong wins.

Kirito vs King Kong


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This is a tribute to one of the first King Kong remakes. Needless to say, I’m still not a big fan of the character. Apes never made for good antagonists and King Kong’s so huge that he didn’t really get to fight this time. Size has never been the most important quality in a fight as that honor goes to speed. Well, Kirito has that attribute in spades and a few quick slices will finish this monkey off. There’s just no way for King Kong to defend himself. Kirito wins.

Robert Baratheon vs King Kong


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Suggested by IKnowledge. Robert Baratheon is a Game of Thrones character and that means that he is a warrior with little to no morals. He can fight to a decent extent, but he has trouble with other humans. He wouldn’t be able to last long against a beast who was even able to fight the King of the Monsters at one time. King Kong only needs one good hit to end this fight while Robert would need thousands. King Kong wins.

Leatherback vs King Kong


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Suggested by Destroyer With King Kong’s new film nearly upon us, it felt like an appropriate time to dig up one of his battles from the vault. He is certainly a powerful individual and has grown quite a bit over the years, but that may not be enough to overcome Leatherback. Leatherback has an EMP blast, but it won’t do much against King Kong so this will come down to a fist fight. Neither fighter is all that fast so this will really be a flurry of blows from both sides until one of them is down for the count. I believe that Leatherback’s strength is superior in this round and that he will ultimately take the win. Leatherback wins.

The Son of Kong Review

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It’s time to look at the sequel to good ole King Kong! King Kong is a monster, but I’ve never been a big fan of his films. Mostly due to the trope of him fighting a T Rex and typically destroying him with the jaw attack. Luckily, this would be his son so we may not have needed that. It’s also more of a comedy, which is fairly intriguing. The film’s very short and Kong doesn’t appear for a while so…you may wonder about the pacing.

After the tragedies of the first King Kong film, Carl is out of a job and out of money. Everyone is hitting him with lawsuits so he decides to flee the country and sail the ocean with the captain from the last film. They land on an island where a girl’s father is murdered by a drunk sailor. Carl decides to get both of them on board, but he doesn’t know about the whole murderer angle. He quickly becomes aware of this as he is betrayed by his crew and thrown onto Kong’s island. The girl, sailor, captain, and ship helper are thrown along with him. Can the heroes survive in such a hostile island!?

The film is intriguing as it is very short and not a lot happens. I really hope that the trailer wasn’t all about Kong fighting other monsters as people would have been pretty misled. In a way, it also feels like a total rehash of the first King Kong film, but with his son replacing the famous monster. It’s the kind of sequel that you dream about watching on the big screen, but only if you’re a really huge fan of the franchise. It certainly could have been worse though as it was at least entertaining most of the time.

As this is a retro film, the dialogue is fairly strong. You won’t catch the heroes using a lot of slang or panicking with a potty mouth. All of their lines have a purpose and the characters never lose sight of the objective. They get in some good burns when necessary and Carl is a charismatic main character. The Captain wasn’t bad although I’d keep my guard up a little more if I was him. The traitor had many opportunities to take the Captain down if he really wanted too. The heroine puts on a tough act around the traitor, but she doesn’t seem too sharp on how to handle these matters. She tells the killer to his face that she will tell the cops. There’s no way that he would take that lying down. While her romance is unnecessary, at least she likes animals, which is always a plus. If you’re going to visit an island with magical monsters, being friendly to them is heavily recommended. As for the traitor, he’s made to be unlikable so you don’t have to worry about liking him by mistake. The guy that he took out was also pretty bad, but two wrongs never make a right.

As for the Son of Kong, he has no real character. The movie knows that he is a kid so the Kong is just bored and decides to have fun. He doesn’t do all that much and is just a constant reminder to the heroes that this island is dangerous. Kong gets a few fights of his own with the other monsters in the island. I always like a good Kaiju fight, but it’s actually a kind of fight that must be handled delicately. See, I love the scuffling with the monsters, but I don’t like it when the monsters actually get hurt. Mild injuries are okay depending on the circumstances, but getting lethally bitten or starting to bleed is a big no no.

It’s why I didn’t enjoy the Mecha Godzilla fight against Anguirus while I loved the Anguirus vs Godzilla fight in Raid Again. The rolling and wrestling between the monsters is the good part. Shooting lasers is also a lot of fun as the towns are obliterated. Son of Kong is too realistic for that so we have Kong trying to crush his opponents and the fights actually aren’t that fun. It’s too bad, but Kong just goes for the KO mouth grab too much. It will remind you of the Captain Falcon flow chart over on For Glory as everyone goes in for the dash grab. You never want to mess with a character like that and likewise, you need to be wary of the fights.

I don’t think that the King Kong franchise will ever be quite as good as the Godzilla one, but it is still ahead of the various Ape films. As long as it holds on here, that should be all right. The future King Kong films certainly don’t sound great, but perhaps it will surprise me. This film really wasn’t that bad and likewise, the first one had potential. Son of Kong just needed to improve on some areas and it could have gotten a positive score.

Had the film been longer, I wouldn’t have minded some more footage in the city from the beginning of the movie. Getting hounded by all of the lawsuits could have been a very entertaining plot to follow. Nothing beats being in the big city after all and even in the past, you could tell that the reporters were always ready. There was some plot hax with none of them recognizing Carl with his quick disguise on, but I suppose that they forgot their glasses.

The inhabitants of King Kong’s island make a cameo towards the beginning as they prevent the heroes from landing ashore, but they evidently don’t watch all sides of the island as the characters just go in through the back entrance and never see the citizens again. Those guys really are not good as protecting their island even if the heroes do end up beyond the sacred gate.

Overall, Son of Kong isn’t that bad although it’s not quite good enough for me to call it a good film. It was fun for most of the film, but the Kong plot isn’t very interesting and that’s the main plot. Carl never got to take on the traitor, which was too bad. The fight scenes weren’t very good and the film was very short, yet it didn’t feel that quick. If you liked the first King Kong film a lot, then you should go for this one. You should enjoy it about as much as the former as they share many similarities. If you didn’t like the first film or didn’t even watch it, then I recommend passing on this one as soon as possible. It’s simply not the kind of film that will make you eager to check out any future Kong titles.

Overall 4/10

King Kong vs Ridley


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This is a tribute to the original King Kong film. It was not very good and King Kong was not the hero that we needed. Ridley should have been in the latest Super Smash Bros, but he was limited to only being a stage hazard. Better luck next time I suppose and I fully expect him to be playable next time…or maybe even sooner with DLC. A quick swipe of his claws should win him the match. Ridley wins.

King Kong Review

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It’s time to look at one of the oldest films that I have ever seen. This came out in 1933 so even I had not been born yet. This was also before Godzilla’s debut yet so we didn’t know what a true Kaiju was like at the time. A giant Ape is still pretty creative I suppose…and he makes for an intriguing beast. The film definitely suffers from too much animal violence, but it made for a starting point to the monster era.

A film producer is looking for a heroine to star in his new action film. He’s going on a very dangerous quest to the filming location and he won’t even tell the crew where they are headed. Naturally, most people want nothing to do with him, but he eventually finds a lady who was attempting to rob a merchant. She agrees to go with him and they set off for Skull Island. An all power being is located there by the name of Kong…King Kong! The crew will have to subdue him if they’re going to get this movie underway so the fight of their lives begins!

It’s an old film so the writing is expected to be pretty strong, but I wasn’t as crazy about it as I usually am. It’s probably the fact that the main characters aren’t all that interesting. The main guy who becomes the love interest for the heroine is pretty rude the whole time so it’s a bit of a stretch when he finally decides to play the hero. I can’t forget all of the insults so easily and he’s the kind of sexist character that we try to forget from those days. The producer of the film isn’t bad and he’s definitely pretty confident. That being said, the movie is more important to him than Kong’s health so he definitely takes a shot to his character there. We get glimpses of how the film would be without King Kong during the cilmax when everyone arrives for the show. Ironically, it would probably get a higher score since it has potential as a stage thriller, but it wasn’t in the cards. The main heroine is decent, but she’s not great either as she falls into the romance trap with someone who had been insulting her mere minutes earlier. He does try to save her life on several occasions, but she should have placed him in the friend zone. Considering that the director saved her, it makes sense that she would be willing to be in such a dangerous movie, but she shouldn’t have stayed next to the edge while on the boat. Ah well, she was not as fun as the director, but she was better than the main guy.

King Kong is naturally the big character in this production. He’s featured as the antagonist, but he’s mostly just your average animal. He does what he can to survive, but he doesn’t have much of a concept on good or evil. He destroys his enemies and does what he wants with his life. He naturally starts to like the main heroine and he’s famous for that at this point. You’ll feel bad for him when the army is blasting away at him and you’ll feel bad for the humans and animals that he destroys. I definitely don’t like King Kong and I never had. He’s simply not one of the better monsters out there and monkeys happen to be one of my least favorite animals. It would have been hard for this film to have changed that anyway, but I’m glad that he gave it his all. It is also good that he escaped the chains at the end since being a prisoner would have been a cruel fate.

The main thing that really hurts the film is the excessive animal violence. You simply cannot get away from this negative and it comes back to bite you every time. A dinosaur gets violently defeated and likewise with a cool Rodan monster. The snake is also injured and you’ll even feel bad for King Kong when he’s defeated. This guarenteed that the film would certainly get a negative score and while I’ll still give it a higher one than a 2 (Which would be slightly excessive) it was not going to get up to a 5 or a 4. Animal Violence is something that we have to avoid at any cost and King Kong simply couldn’t get past that.

It’s why the sequels don’t have a lot of hope either. The T Rex scene is famous and I’m confident that it is in both of the upcoming films. With updated graphics, the fights could be even worse. This film is about 2 hours, but it’ll definitely feel pretty long as you enter the second half. It only drags on at some points though as the battle in the Jungle is pretty fun and I do like the climax. It’s more towards the beginning of the middle where it drags for a while. That’s forgivable though since the film is expected to have some slow moments. (Get ready for the 3 and a half hour remake…)

The human scenes aren’t bad, but they aren’t extremely entertaining either. The captain of the ship was nice enough and he did a good job of guarding against the enemies. I don’t really care for the extremely rushed romance between the main heroine and the sailor though as it is another case of love at first sight, which I don’t buy into. The humans definitely look pretty corrupt as they are actually proud of the fact that they turned King Kong from a king into a captive. It’s something that you would hope the heroes didn’t take pride in. Apparently, money is what’s important to them so they don’t care about Kong’s well being. Likewise with all of the people in the audience of course.

The film is just pretty tragic and that’s one of the main reasons why it couldn’t be as great as Godzilla or the other big monster films. Take away the animal violence and this film would instantly be a whole lot better. King Kong being a captive was sad, but he did break free so that was good. He got to get his hits in before they finally mowed him down. At least he would end up returning in Godzilla vs King Kong about 20 years later.

Overall, King Kong is one of those classics that isn’t truly great. Without our nostalgia glasses I don’t think that it holds weight, but we know that we cannot get rid of the glasses. They are why I still see the original TMNT game for Gamecube as an exceptional title of epic proportions and why Super Smash Bros Melee will always have my fondest memories for any video game. I saw Godzilla first and I have a feeling that it will always outrank King Kong. Kong’s just at a disadvantage since he’s a real animal and he’s not even close to Godzilla’s size. He is also not immune to bullets so that should end the debate against Godzilla right there. Fans of the old monster films may enjoy this one, but definitely not if you don’t like animal violence. I’d recommend the original Godzilla film instead as it is much better.

Overall 3/10