At the end of Kong: Skull Island, it is revealed that the studio plans to create a cinematic monster universe that includes Mothra, Rodan, Ghidorah, and of course, Godzilla. Was that a spoiler? Maybe everyone needs to rethink what a “spoiler” is. I digress. The end credits scene reminded me of the itch that has always bothered me with King Kong and not with the other monsters.
In every King Kong film, the titular ape finds himself fascinated with a beautiful, blonde woman. In many instances, he is so smitten with her looks that he has no other choice than to take her for himself in order to further admire her in seclusion. He never gets to know her.
An argument can be stated for the newest incarnation of Kong, who seemingly falls for Brie Larson’s blonde character because he sees her attempting to save a native island animal stuck underneath a damaged helicopter. But even this version can’t go without Kong needing to assert his male dominance. He removes the helicopter from the animal without even flexing, proving to Larson’s character that she is useless.
Typically, Kong steals away the beautiful blonde in order to admire her and in doing so, the audience is force fed a tale of interspecies Stockholm syndrome. Whenever the woman is in peril, Kong saves her. The problem is that most of these instances stem from Kong’s existence. Without Kong, these women would not be in perilous situations. Are we supposed to believe these women should be grateful to Kong? He only thinks with his reproductive instincts. Is this supposed to be a hero to us?
How many times in the King Kong films have we seen a man fall through the air? How many times have we seen a man in need of assistance? Kong does nothing for them, as he is too busy lusting after the woman and her body. He thinks the female needs saving and that he is the answer. Kong thinks women are weak and delicate. He has no respect for women.
And here we have the problem at heart: Kong’s gaze is the media’s gaze, which is the male gaze. Casting a feminist like Brie Larson doesn’t add credibility or “feminism” to the film like the studio thinks it does. Larson’s character is so forced upon us, you can practically hear the film begging the audience, “See? Women are strong and important, they can do things, they can stand up for themselves, we promise! Please don’t write a think piece about us! We even gave you Femdom Hall of Famer Tom Hiddleston!” But in the end, Hiddleston and his comical near-distant stare leads the saving, and Larson’s “strong woman” gets knocked off a rock, almost drowns, and is plucked out of the water by a worried Kong. Why was she knocked off a rock? Oh right: Kong.
We’re all being gaslighted by the media to believe Kong is a hero. A merchandized hero. A hero to celebrate, a hero to market. Kong is no different than any other powerful man in his position, and I’m sick of people telling me he’s King.
The famous last lines of the original film and the Peter Jackson abortion are: “It was beauty killed the best.” Really? Kong was actually a bleeding heart softy the whole time? No. It was beauty made the beast. And he couldn’t get past the beauty part, so that motherfucker died.