Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman has reviewed Kong: Skull Island (Warner Bros., 3.10) without using the term “Apocalypse Kong.” Coined by Hollywood Elsewhere on 7.23.16, it makes perfect sense given the Vietnam War echoes, the 1973 setting and the hat-tip by Kong director Jordan Vogt-Roberts to the “Ride of the Valkyries” helicopter attack sequence in Francis Coppola’s 1979 epic.
Even more oddly, Gleiberman makes no reference to “comic beats“, which I was recently told is “definitely” a part of the mosaic.
Reel-to-reel tape player churning out Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” anthem in Apocaylpse Now.
Nearly the exact same shot in Kong: Skull Island.
Gleiberman: “A King Kong movie should, first and foremost, be a fairy tale of primeval wonder, and this one is. The surprise is that Skull Island isn’t just ten times as good as Jurassic World; it’s a rousing and smartly crafted primordial-beastie spectacular. In many ways, [it’s] a Jurassic Park movie, and if viewed that way, it’s the best since [Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original]. Skull Island is more action-based and less ambitious than either of the “King Kong” remakes: the snarky, overblown, justly reviled 1976 knockoff or Peter Jackson’s good but still not good enough 2005 retread.”