Kong: Skull Island is the 214th episode of Screen Junkies comedy series Honest Trailers. It was written by Spencer Gilbert, Joe Starr, Dan Murrell and Andy Signore. In addition to regular narrator Jon Bailey as Epic Voice Guy, it featured an appearance by the film's director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who provides his own script detailing the film's flaws. It parodies the 2017 monster film Kong: Skull Island. It was published on September 5, 2017, shortly after Vogt-Roberts went on a Twitter rant at the YouTube channel CinemaSins for their "Everything Wrong With Kong: Skull Island" video. It is 6 minutes 28 seconds long. It has been viewed over 3.1 million times
"Satire is not bankruptcy; you cannot just declare it." ~ Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Honest Trailers - Kong: Skull Island
After seven King Kong movies, a new film will take the giant ape in a brand new direction: what if -- now bear with me -- what if there was a King Kong movie, but it was also the '70s? Huuuunh? Kong: Skull Island.
Strap in for a period piece more retro than a Vietnam vet blasting Black Sabbath on a reel-to-reel tape player in a monster flick that, for once, delivers on the giant monster battles, but also tries to be an extended metaphor for the Vietnam War, where Skull Island is 'Nam; Sam Jackson is the U.S.; Kong is the Viet Cong; the giant lizards are, uh, the...South Vietnamese; and Tom Hiddleston katana-fighting dino birds is, uhh- You know what? I'm totally lost. Let's just watch the ape hit the dragon with a boat propeller. (shows Kong hurling a large propeller on a chain at a Skullcrawler) Woo hoo!
Suit up with Monarch, a company devoted to launching a giant monster movie franchise. They'll travel to an island that's been isolated since prehistoric times -- a Jurassic World, if you will, minus all the cheap nostalgia -- a place where everything that can go Kong will go Kong, setting up a mad dash to turn this monster into a sympathetic character before he fights Godzilla in a sequel. Awwww, he's not so bad. I mean, his parents are dead, so he's basically gorilla Batman, right? Remember that time he helped that yak?
Get ready for a brand new version of pop culture's best non-Donkey Kong, complete with WWE wrestling moves, jungle parkour skills, and the inexplicable ability to sneak up on you like a ninja. He's a one hundred foot-tall ape. Why does no one see or hear him coming? And shouldn't half the island be wrecked from Kong just walking around?
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: Really, guys, this is the best you've got?
Jon Bailey: Huh? Who was that? (shows Jordan Vogt-Roberts surrounded by Kong: Skull Island merchandise) Oh, no, it's Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts!
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: Hello there.
Jon Bailey: I shoulda known if we criticized your movie long enough, you'd appear.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: Look, you guys can criticize my movie all you want. All I ask is if you do it, have some f*cking merit to it.
Jon Bailey: You didn't let me finish, though. I had a whole section ready on King Kong's missing ding dong. It was golden!
Jon Bailey: Yeah, well, it's satire...?
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: No it's not. Satire is not bankruptcy; you cannot just declare it.
Jon Bailey: Relax, dude, it's just a joke.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: I love film criticism; it's an important part of this art form. But you wanna know who my biggest critic is? Me. You wanna know everything f*cking wrong with Kong: Skull Island? I will f*cking tell you. (holds out a script, which disappears at the top of the screen)
Jon Bailey: Let's see here...'Skull Island Honest Trailer by Jordan Vogt-Roberts'? Okay, here we go.
(reading from the script) Try to enjoy a movie with major structural problems that spends the whole first act bringing the cast together, only to split everyone apart ten minutes later; that was going for the emotional simplicity of Aliens, but ended up with the complexity of Alien vs. Predator -- (hisses) ooooh, harsh.
Meet great human characters like John C. Reilly, then meet more human characters, and more, and more, and more, and more, because most contemporary blockbusters have too many characters, and most of them shoulda been cut or consolidated -- but, hey, I'm the director; that's on me -- like the living legend John Goodman, the guy you enter the movie with, then drops out 'cause he has nothing to do but spout exposition; Toby Kebbell, who's great as Kong, but his human character is in a completely different movie than anyone else; Tom Hiddleston, the Vietnam vet for hire who always looks perfect -- forget the fact that he's supposed to be a 'Nam vet in the 1970s. I mean, look at that perfect hair; he never even gets dirty, for cryin' out loud -- and Brie Larson, a photographer who's essentially playing Pokemon Snap while all the interesting stuff happens to other people. It's a movie that takes some of our best and most talented working actors and gives them nothing that even resembles an arc. (to Jordan Vogt-Roberts) Geez, this is really honest.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: Yeah, I bathe in pain.
Jon Bailey: (reading from the script) So enjoy a movie that's way better than it had any right to be, but is not without its serious flaws. I mean, it is a f*cking monster movie, after all; but it is not, I repeat, not a problem that it has too many helicopters (shows clips of large groups of helicopters flying). (to Jordan Vogt-Roberts) Wait, what?
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: Look, everybody thinks that there's some issue where there's more helicopters in the sky than there are in the boat, and King Kong takes down an infinite amount of them. Guess what? You're wrong. There's a shot in the movie where the camera goes around the boat and you see in the back of the boat, and guess what's in the back of the f*cking boat? Helicopters! What's inside of the boat? More helicopters! What's the boat f*cking made out of? F*cking helicopters. You know why? 'Cause you wanna see Kong, like the toy has, grabbing a f*cking helicopter. You wanna pay fifteen dollars to see him not f*cking use the helicopter like a f*cking baseball bat?! The helicopter math makes f*cking sense.
Jon Bailey: Man, this is a really weird Honest Trailer. Deep breaths, dude. (Jordan Vogt-Roberts breathes deep and exhales) You feel better now?
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: You know what? I do. Can you guys just do that funny name thing that you do?
Jon Bailey: You got it.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: Thanks, man.
Jon Bailey: Starring Benetom Hiddlebender (Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad); Say Kong One More Time! I Dare You! (Samuel L. Jackson as Preston Packard); John Goodall (John Goodman as Bill Randa); For Your Health! (John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow); Gorgonzola Larson (Brie Larson as Mason Weaver); Let Me See That Koooooong, That Kong-Ka-Kong-Kong-Kong! (Terry Notary as Kong); and A Crap-Ton of Anime References. Did you catch 'em all?
Everything Kong with Skull Island in 120 Minutes or Less
To any of you who think we're just capitalizing on all the drama (shows an article headline reading "'Kong: Skull Island' Director Lashes Out On Twitter"), we set this up over a month ago.
(shows a Screen Junkies News interview with Jordan Vogt-Roberts)
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: The thing that I am not looking forward to is your people dropping some Honest Trailer.
Andy Signore: You wanna help write it?
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: I would love to!
Andy Signore: Let's do it!
But to be honest, we're pretty lucky the timing worked out to capitalize on all the drama.
- Screen Junkies deliberately chose not to make an Honest Trailer for Kong: Skull Island when it was released on Blu-ray on July 18, 2017. The writers explain they found the film okay, neither particularly bad nor particularly good. They state that perfectly fine films are by far the hardest to write Honest Trailers for, as there's nothing really to say about them except that they're fine. They had no plans to made an Honest Trailer for Kong: Skull Island until Jordan Vogt-Roberts volunteered to help write it.
- Jordan Vogt-Roberts suggested the idea of being involved in making this Honest Trailer during an interview he did with Screen Junkies during ComicCon, July 2017. This agreement predates Vogt-Roberts' August 16, 2017 Twitter rant directed against YouTube channel CinemaSins. Screen Junkies referred to the rant in the Honest Trailer and showed clips of ComicCon to show they had arranged to make this video with Vogt-Roberts beforehand.
- The Honest Writers stated that the criticisms that Vogt-Roberts made of his own film are not things they would usually mention in an Honest Trailer, for example structural problems with the film's narrative.
- Screen Junkies doesn't have any problem with CinemaSins. The Honest Trailers writers have never disparaged CinemaSins' approach, rather, they simply propose that the two series are trying to accomplish different things. In the commentary, Andy Signore said, "We are not here to knock on CinemaSins or do any of that stuff. He [Vogt-Roberts] seems to want to but that's on him.... I do not want this to be, "This is why CinemaSins sucks," because if you feel that way, that's your own thing, but that's not what we're here to do." Signore also said, "For those of you that think we were calling shade at CinemaSins, we were not." See Comparison of Honest Trailers and CinemaSins for more info.
- Screen Junkies have also produced Honest Trailers for several movies involving giant robots and giant monsters like Godzilla (2014), Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Transformers, Power Rangers and many more. See list of Honest Trailers.
Honest Trailers - Kong: Skull Island has a 96.6% approval rating from YouTube viewers. Many media sites commended Jordan Vogt-Roberts for appearing in his own Honest Trailer. IndieWire described Jordan Vogt-Robert's appearance as an "unexpectedly delightful twist" and said the Honest Trailer is "worth it for the 'helicopter math' rant alone." ScreenRant appreciated that Vogt-Roberts was "even more brutally honest than Screen Junkies" and described the Honest Trailer as "probably the most meta episode since Ryan Reynolds appeared as Deadpool in his own Honest Trailer." In the same article, Screen Rant wrote, "It's a fun episode, and all credit to Vogt-Roberts for mocking himself and getting so into the spirit of it. It's a nice twist on all the bad blood that's been circulating regarding the film and the satirical takes on it, whatever your own personal opinion is."
Uproxx praised the Honest Trailer for providing "a fascinating look behind the curtain as to what goes through a director’s mind. Like most creatives, it turns out filmmakers are their own worst critics." Cinema Blend said "It's become a right [sic] of passage for major blockbuster to receive an Honest Trailer months after its theatrical release" but that Vogt-Roberts presence made this Honest Trailer "stand out from the crowd." The Mary Sue wrote that the Honest Trailer "demonstrates that Vogt-Roberts’ beef with CinemaSins isn’t just a gut-reaction to any criticism but rather a comment on lazy and bad film criticism that neither inspires nor teaches. He can handle the jokes and burns, but try and do your homework beforehand."
Production credits Edit
Voiceover Narration by Jon Bailey
Title design by Robert Holtby
Executive Producer - Andy Signore
Edited by Kevin Williamsen and TJ Nordaker
See also Edit
- Comparison of Honest Trailers and CinemaSins
- Honest Trailers - Fast Five - features a cameo appearance by Jeremy Scott of CinemaSins
- Everything Wrong with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 13 Minutes or Less - describes the 2014 Screen Junkies and CinemaSins series swap
- For more information on CinemaSins, visit the CinemaSins Wiki powered by FANDOM
- ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Honest Trailer: Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts Lovingly Rips Apart His Own Monster Movie — Watch - IndieWire article
- Kong: Skull Island Honest Trailer Gets Brutally Honest - ScreenRant article
- ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Honest Trailer: Jordan Vogt-Roberts Mocks His Own Movie This Time - SlashFilm article
- The ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Honest Trailer Was Written By ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts - Uproxx article
- The Kong: Skull Island Honest Trailer Has The Director Critiquing His Own Movie - CinemaBlend article
- 'Kong: Skull Island' Gets An 'Honest Trailer' Critique From Its Director - Huffington Post article
- Jordan Vogt-Roberts Roasts His Own Movie in a Brutal Honest Trailer for Kong: Skull Island - The Mary Sue article
- Honest Trailers Crushes Kong: Skull Island - CBR.com article