Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Being one of few who enjoyed Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong remake, I was a bit skeptical of another Kong movie. But this time it’s different. This movie is brought to you by the same people who made the 2014 Godzilla remake (which I also thoroughly enjoyed) and not many people know that King Kong and Godzilla exist in the same universe and there are more of these monster movies to come (e.g. Mothra and King Ghidorah to name a couple). It seems then, that Marvel’s Cinematic Universe algorithm is so successful that other production companies are following suit.

Recruited to explore a new uncharted island, officials from the organisation Monarch, a group of soldiers fresh from Vietnam, a ex-military hunter-tracker and a photojournalist travel to Skull Island and disturb the unique and deadly creatures that live there, including a giant gorilla named Kong.

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Kong: Skull Island reminded me of a Vietnam war film – even the poster was resonant of Apocalypse Now! This blended perfectly with the fantastical, i.e a giant gorilla, and the action sequences that followed. The 70’s soundtrack worked brilliantly too, and really paced the film well. I was never bored.

The only quibble I had was that I didn’t care enough about the characters. Whether they got to the other side of the island in time to leave safely or not, I didn’t care. There were so many characters to get to know in such a short space of time, all with little or no backstory, and none of them were particularly likeable either.

Overall, Kong: Skull Island was an all round decent and enjoyable movie. It’s in cinemas now, and, if you’re interested in what’s to come, wait for an awesome after credit scene!

KONG: SKULL ISLAND

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Civil War – Predictions and Speculations

Today is a good old-fashioned speculation post. With Captain America: Civil War right around the corner, it’s looking like the biggest Marvel film ever in terms of cast, plot and marketing scheme, (which I didn’t think was even possible after Avengers 2). The reason for this post, is from overhearing a few conversations and it seems many people are “betting” on which character(s) is going to die. Harsh yes, but I’d like to join the discussion so, here are my thoughts… (Warning: Potential spoilers if you haven’t seen the other movies!)

Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier: 

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Bucky, or the Winter Soldier, has only just redeemed himself and become a “good guy.” He’s not yet fully established in this universe and there is a big reason why he can’t die at the start of his Marvel career. Also, the only person who would be upset at this point is Cap who seems to go to great lengths to protect his man. There is more to see of this character.

Hawkeye:

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Hawkeye is ranking top of the polls right now from what I’ve heard. But here is why I don’t think he can or should die: he is the only member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or any superhero movie, to have a functional family. This character came into his own in Avengers: Age of Ultron and it would be heart breaking if he died, which is the reaction Marvel crave, so perhaps it would make sense. Hawkeye’s appeared in enough movies after all. But again, he is the only Marvel Superhero to have a working, FUNCTIONAL family. Audiences often need characters to set good examples particularly in times of stress, war and economic trouble (cinema is practically propaganda, but sometimes in a kind of nice nurturing way). Being a cool guy and having a FUNCTIONAL family sets a good example to audiences, enforcing that marriage still works and isn’t dying off, that a career and kids can still happen, that people can have both. Marvel struck the balance right with this guy. Hawkeye, or Agent Barton, counteracts the bad examples of Tony Stark’s play boy life, Scott Lang’s criminal lifestyle or Peter Quill’s lack of commitment to anything/anyone (even though these hero’s do “clean up their act”). All this aside, Hawkeye is an underdog type character and I think he’s great, so I hope he’s here to stay.

Scarlet Witch or Ant Man or Falcon or Vision:

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Marvel would be idiotic to kill off any of these characters. They are not established enough yet. Scarlet Witch’s brother Quicksilver was killed off pretty quickly granted, but, next to Black Widow and until Captain Marvel and The Wasp join, she is the only female hero in this franchise (I exclude Gamora as she isn’t part of this timeline yet). Also, she has the potential to be the strongest Avenger! Ant Man has a sequel scheduled so he’s sticking around. Vision plays host to the mind stone that is in his head, so he needs to be kept on until the Infinity Wars. The most expendable here is Falcon, but Marvel will then fall under scrutiny for a lack of diversity if he’s killed off. Plus, he’s friggin’ awesome.

Black Widow:

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Black Widow is also high ranking, next to Hawkeye. Natasha has been in many many movies after all and is still a secondary character. But with the introduction of Spider-Man and Black Panther, two more male superheroes, and Marvel shying away from giving her her own movie, it will be one huge kick in the face and will further anger/alienate audiences if she is killed off. We NEED Black Widow.

Spider-Man or Black Panther:

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Don’t be silly, they haven’t even made their debut yet. And I can’t wait to see them in action!

War Machine:

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Rhodey has been in it from the very beginning of the MCU in Iron Man (remember Terrence Howard?), so he’s been in enough movies that he could be killed off. He was shown to be unconscious in the trailer, but I’m sure it’s a classic misdirect on Marvel’s part. Being initiated into the new Avengers team has added weight to the character, so I don’t think they would get rid of him yet. We also have the lack of diversity problem that we have with Falcon. Plus, I don’t believe people will care too much if he was killed off… or I won’t… I’m sorry, I can’t stand Don Cheadle and his new characterisation since replacing Terrence Howard. Overall, I think he could outlive Iron Man…

Captain America or Iron Man:

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The two protagonists, almost joint leaders of the Avengers, but now the leaders of their own sides locked in a Civil War. It’s no spoiler that both Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans’ contracts are coming to an end. The impact needed here, the heart break, the tears and the crushing pain of losing a much loved character… I believe it will be either Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. Or both. So just prepare yourselves.

OVERALL VERDICT: Brace yourself for a devastating loss in Iron Man or Captain America’s deaths. But of course, I could be completely wrong.

What do you guys think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

M x

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