Focal Point: Of Kings and Kongs

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I don’t think it should come as any surprise that I’m a big monster movie fan.  I have been since I was a child, and it fueled my interest in special effects, which in turn led to me going to college for post-production and VFX work.  It’s a genre that’s seen it’s ups and downs of the years, and for the better part of the 2000s was almost non-existent.  Thankfully, in recent years, the big monsters have seen a resurgence in popularity and movie studios are responding.  I couldn’t be happier, especially since King Kong will once again grace the big screen…Though he seems hopelessly outmatched.

Kong vs Godzilla

During last year’s SDCC, when Legendary Pictures announced they were working on Kong: Skull Island, I was as giddy as a school girl!  I tried my best to keep it out of my writing when I posted the news up, but I could barely contain myself.  The original King Kong from the 30s created the big monster genre and ushered in a new era of special effects and the types of stories that could be told.  

When I saw it for the first time as a child it blew my mind, and despite it’s age, is a film I can still go back and enjoy time and time again.  While King Kong has seen a NUMBER of remakes or things which tried to be sequels, none of them really captured what made the original so great and ground-breaking.  Something felt off.  Yes, this even applies to Peter Jackson’s film (the most recent attempt), which visually impressed and has it’s cool moments, but overall bored me to tears.  

Enter Skull Island, a new take on the Kong mythos, a different story altogether, and thus a chance at seeing a King Kong that once again breaks the mold and engages us.  I’m stoked.  I was even MORE excited when word came out that WB and Legendary were working together to eventually bring King Kong and Godzilla together on the big screen.  

I loved the Godzilla reboot.  I know not everyone did, but it captured the ‘feel’ of the classic monster movies that I grew up with and loved.  Combine that with some impressive VFX and I was sold.  This won’t be the first time these two have done battle, and I can say with all honesty that I wore the tape out on my VHS copy of the Japanese King Kong vs. Godzilla movie.  It wasn’t great, but there’s something in the idea of these two icons battling it out, that appeals to audiences.  Not to mention the trend these days with movie studios’ shared universes, and a new King Kong/Godzilla showdown seems like an easy money-maker.  

The problem, as I’ve illustrated here, is that there are some significant size differences between the two, especially now.  Godzilla’s new incarnation is skyscraper size, while the King Kong we know CLIMBS skyscrapers.  There’s a serious gap there and I have no idea how the filmmakers can overcome it.  

I have no doubts that King Kong will be larger in Skull Island than we’ve seen on the big screen before, but they can’t make him Godzilla big and keep the same ideas in place.  I mean, how on Earth would an island contain THAT large of an animal, and there’s no door the natives could build big enough to keep him on the other side of it.  So yeah, he’ll be bigger, but he still won’t be big enough.  That said, the MUTOs in the 2014 Godzilla weren’t comparable in size either, but they were able to hold their own.  Perhaps they’ll go with even more monsters thrown into the mix that will help even the odds, or maybe we’re all wrong and they’ll be TEAMING up (though the concept begs even more questions).  

Either way, with a few years between now and these two meeting on the big screen I’m crossing my fingers that the filmmakers can figure it out and have it work within the story.  While I can’t wait to see how it plays out, I’d rather have a great film, than a horrible one, risking another monster movie slump.  

In other news, I suppose I should apologize for missing out on the comic strip the other week.  Between illnesses at the house, a deluge of reviews to get pumped out, and getting organized…it fell through the cracks.  Which sucks because I had all the sketches done in time, just didn’t have a moment to sit down and draw it.  I took advantage of my new Intuos Pro to finish it all up, however, managing to kill two birds with one stone.  

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Focal Point Facebook Page and check out some of the new Star Wars themed prints I have up on Red Bubble.  

Until next time folks! 

-Jordan