King Kong deserves respect as one of the great fables to come from cinema, as well as for its pioneering special effects. The story of man’s hubris in bringing an incredible force of nature into the heart of the human world and suffering the terrible consequences for their lack of respect is a great parable, simple enough to explain to a child and yet layered with nuance. The story is one of personal arrogance, of racism, of colonialism, even of a kind of early environmentalism. Kong: Skull Island is the latest in nearly a century of re-releases, remakes and rip-offs, and is notable at least for its departure from the original. While it is not the most revolutionary version – which remains Kong’s Japanese excursion, during which he gets caught up in an illicit mining scheme and battles a robot doppelganger in downtown Tokyo – it shifts the focus in an interesting direction. And for left bereft of giant monsters causing ridiculous mayhem, this change is most welcome.
My initial reaction to the rumours of a new Matrix movie was a textbook example of violent and impotent fanboy rage. “Are you fucking kidding me? How dare they sully this hallowed ground?! It’s only been 18 years! You can’t fix what’s already perfect! They’re going to change it and make it suck!” This bleating it perhaps emotionally justifiable, but it doesn’t survive more than a moment’s actual though on the matter.