• Kong: Skull Island (2017) - Shallow entertainment for the masses - 5/10 (29/05/17)

    Kong: Skull Island (2017)

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

    Los Angeles, California. The world's capital of steel, plastic and glass. Including locations and people. After drinking too much booze in a shady strip club, two representatives of Warner Brothers Pictures are talking about the company's next blockbuster after a series of less popular movies in times when cinema can't compete with the growing streaming media industry. 

    "Let's make another blockbuster – any ideas?"

    "There is a monster movie revival. We could reboot the King Kong franchise."

    "But there are already seven different King Kong movies."

    "That doesn't matter. People don't like change, love living in the past and don't want to think too much. Imagine the commercial potential of such a reboot! We could let King Kong fight against Godzilla in a sequel!"

    "Well, there is already a movie where this happens."

    "Great! People are nostalgic and will like it!"

    "Do you have any ideas for a plot?"

    "Let the movie take place in the past. This will only add to its nostalgia. We could put some old rock music in the film. And some vintage vehicles and weapons. It could take place towards the end of the Vietnam War."

    "Why would we chose the Vietnam War?"

    "Even the most uneducated audience has already heard of the Vietnam War. Oh, and let's also include the Second World War in the scenario. Two wars are better than one!"

    "Do you have any ideas for precise locations?"

    "Geography is too complex for our audience. Let's just invent a fictional island. An island where any nonsense could happen. Let's include other monsters. Giant lizards, giant oxes and giant spiders! And dinosaurs! Let's just put plenty of big animals in the movie that make a lot of noise and look scary."

    "Alright, but what about an actual story?"

    "Who needs a story? A couple of people want to discover an island and must fight monsters. King Kong turns out to be nice and helps them. That's it."

    "Do you have any ideas for our characters?"

    "People like simple contrasts. Good and evil. Heroes and villains. Pacifists and warmongers. Let's also include some stereotypes to put everyone in their comfort zones. Some natives that worship King Kong. A crazy recluse who stranded on the island. Stuff like that."

    "We need strong antagonists and protagonists though."

    "Let me think... I got it. An evil military faces a good journalist. The former wants to kill all the monsters while the latter wants to save them."

    "The US military will hate us for this."

    "Awesome, we will get some promotion for free. Everybody will talk about it. And even the intellectuals will come watch our movie because they think it includes some serious pacifist message! Hahaha!"

    "What about the actors and actresses?"

    "Let's make sure to include people from every possible background even if it doesn't make any sense considering the historical background. Multiculturalism matters. Let's include exotic natives, a good black dude and a bad black dude, a crazy white dude and a clever white dude. Let's also put some random Asian chick in the movie that looks cute. We just give her ten lines of dialogue and that's enough. Some people just watch those movies for the action sequences and beautiful people! They are weak and can't get laid in real life, so they want to watch heroes that shoot everything and get all the hot chicks!"

    "Shouldn't we put some more profound emotions into this film?"

    "Profound is a word our target audience doesn't understand. People like simple and positive emotions. Let's make the good black dude fall in love with that Asian chick. Let our protagonist fall in love with the clever white dude. Let the recluse come back to his family. Let all the baddies die. That's the kind of stuff we need."

    "That sounds so shallow it might actually work out. But what kind of actor would participate in such a movie?"

    "Let's hire some unknown rookies that look geeky and trendy and who still dream of a Hollywood career. They will accept to do anything to get rich and famous. Let's also put one or two more famous actors in the movie that will attract older audiences. We will have to overpay them to make sure they participate in this nonsense but it will pay off. Imagine a name like Samuel L. Jackson! People will read his name and just watch the movie because of him! Anyway, we will put the biggest part of our budget in the special effects. We need a lot of crazy monsters, loud explosions and a dream island to sell our product. The talent of the actors doesn't actually matter. They just need to look cool."

    "You're so superficial that it's almost creative! But how can we connect this movie to a potential sequel?"

    "Let's include a scene after the credits. We can throw in the discovery of more monsters from other remote places! What about Godzilla? Or some other Japanese monsters. That three-headed dragon, King Ghidorah! Or the giant butterfly, Mothra! Or some dinosaur, like Rodan!"

    "Isn't that a little bit too exaggerated?"

    "Hell, no! We could make dozens of sequels and reboots with those connections. And more importantly, we will make a shitload of money!"

    "Sounds good to me. One last thing. What kind of title could we use? ''King Kong returns''?"

    "No, it needs to be something cooler to get more kids interested. Let's use the name of the island from the original movie. Skull Island! That sounds badass! There it is: "Kong: Skull Island"."

    "You're a genius. How much time do you need to write the script?"

    "Give me some more drinks and I would say I can write it in two hours. Maximum! Let's start the casting and promotion. We will be heroes! Here we go!"

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