Time for me to take to task the writer of this particular article, even though she is largely complimentary of the new film KONG: SKULL ISLAND. What’s my beef? Permit me to quote: “Another one of Kong’s strengths is the APOCALYPSE NOW vibe that permeates the entire film. From slow motion shots of helicopters soaring over landscapes to scenes of soldiers moving through swamps and jungles, the film definitely draws inspiration from the 1979 classic; numerous reviews have pointed this out.” Yes, the similarities are obvious, and were done intentionally. She’s right about that. Unfortunately she goes on to state: “And while the film is nowhere near as good as Coppola’s film…” There’s the problem, right there. What are the grounds for making such an argument? I would argue that the footing is anything but secure; like walking on one of those peat bog islands in the Okefenokee Swamp, where the earth literally trembles beneath you, this comparison is shaky and potentially dangerous. (You could fall through and land on a sleeping alligator, after all.)
The author does go on to say “…of course, we can’t expect a creature feature to match up with it…” which perfectly explains the absurdity of attempting such a comparison in the first place. See, two disparate things, by definition, can never be equal, thus one can never be superior or inferior to the other. It’s comparing apples and pinecones. APOCALYPSE NOW is an important movie, exploring important themes. That being said, I cannot in any honesty claim that I enjoyed watching it. KONG: SKULL ISLAND is pure escapist entertainment. It’s a hoot and a half to watch. Which then is the superior film? The one exploring deep issues but providing nothing in the way of viewing pleasure, or the one going light on the grim subtext but heavy on the fun? No credible argument can be made, regardless of the answer offered, because we are dealing with two things so radically different as to render any such comparisons moot, and rather silly. “Good” in this sense is a purely subjective term.
KONG is better, though. Just sayin’.