KONG-SKULL ISLAND.

 

Another so called block buster hit the screens recently in the form of yet another retelling of the KING KONG story. KONG SKULL ISLAND, is an updating of the tale, with lots of special effects and an equal amount of predictable hammy acting from the assembled cast. I must say that when Hollywood attempts to re-make or re-invent a classic movie it invariably falls a little flat. Sadly, this is also true as far as the musical score is concerned and KONG SKULL ISLAND is no exception to the rule. Composer Henry Jackman has in the past few years been involved with several of these so-called BLOCKBUSTERS which have not block-busted anything or grabbed attention apart from maybe an overload of wooden acting performances and sound alike musical scores. His score for KONG SKULL ISLAND is sadly nothing special or original. In fact, it sounds like most Hollywood scores that are being created now, it is neither inventive or in anyway interesting, it is a fusion of orchestral, rock and synthetic/electronic. Which in my opinion too much synthetic content, there seems to be a trend with Hollywood movies to create this pop/synth sound and although Jackman does throw in a few symphonic moments these are not enough to make the score that appealing, basically it is a standard action score, which when listening to it could be the work of any composer because there are no quirks of orchestration or composing style within it that one could say “AHH THAT’S JACKMAN”. It is a score that would probably also fit any of the big budget movies that have been released of late. No individuality, no stand out traits of composition in fact wall to wall brass and strings bolstered by percussive backgrounds both conventional and electronic which are also supported and enhanced by synthetic elements. If you look back and make comparisons with past KING KONG movies, Jackman’s effort is probably at the bottom of the league table, Steiner’s we all know is a classic, simply because it was the first and also because of the composers approach and originality, even John Scott’s KING KONG LIVES, contains some good thematic material and John Barry’s excellent score for the 1970’s ill-fated cinematic outing for the giant ape was hauntingly appealing in the use of themes and motifs, and of course more recently there was James Newton Howards Kong score, which again boasted a nice balance of both action and rich alluring tone poems. So Jackman was up against stiff opposition but the movie business of the 21st century is somewhat different from the days when the aforementioned movies were released, one cue that does come over as less of an electronic mish mash are tracks number 12 THE TEMPLE and track number 13 GREY FOX which both have about them a slightly less synthetic sound with the composer employing strings and subdued brass, with a scattering of woodwind the latter having a style to it that is not dissimilar to that of Jerry Goldsmith but only a fleeting one, giving us a glimmer of a real theme.

So, I must say that KONG SKULL ISLAND will probably not be returning to the disc player that often as far as I am concerned. The music works in the movie because it elevates the already fast paced action of the picture, but the synthetic overpowers the symphonic, so the movie and the score are not for me.

TRACK LISTING.

1.
South Pacific
0:35
2.
The Beach
1:27
3.
Project Monarch
2:02
4.
Packard’s Blues
1:14
5.
Assembling the Team
1:48
6.
Into the Storm
2:44
7.
The Island
1:16
8.
Kong the Destroyer
3:43
9.
Monsters Exist
2:27
10.
Spider Attack
1:39
11.
Dominant Species
2:00
12.
The Temple
5:47
13.
Grey Fox
2:33
14.
Kong the Protector
1:49
15.
Marlow’s Farewell
2:37
16.
Lost
1:27
17.
The Boneyard
1:52
18.
Ambushed
2:21
19.
The Heart of Kong
2:11
20.
Man vs. Beast
2:31
21.
Creature from the Deep
2:44
22.
The Battle of Skull Island
5:46
23.
King Kong
2:42
24.
Monster Mash (Bonus Track)

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