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.