In the Dark

Down Here Among the Lilliputians

Kong: Skull Island
Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers 
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts 
Screenplay by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein 

Produced and distributed by A24
Directed by Barry Jenkins
Screenplay by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney 

Produced and distributed by The Weinstein Company
Directed by Garth Davis 
Screenplay by Saroo Brierly from his memoir, A Long Way Home

Compared with its predecessors, Kong: Skull Island is a rather dreary reprise of the original King Kong film.  Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts discards the original’s venerable plot, which gave Kong its lasting appeal.  The entire point of the 1933 movie was to introduce a Brobdingnagian creature into the precincts of a Lilliputian civilization and let matters take their rambunctious course.  In Gulliver’s Travels, the lesson was that the supposedly civilized Lilliputians were far more savage than their oversized counterparts.  Vogt-Roberts ignores this homily.  Instead of thrilling us with scenes of Kong wading recklessly through the streets of Manhattan, his film places all its action on Skull Island, somewhere west of Vietnam in 1974 at the sorry end of our ill-fated war to protect that country’s...

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