SPOILERS: KONG: SKULL ISLAND - 10 Easter Eggs You May Have Missed
Kong: Skull Island stomped over the competition at the North American box office this weekend and after the jump, you'll find our look at the movie's best references, Easter Eggs, and much more...
As I mentioned in my review, Kong: Skull Island is a triumphant return to the big screen for its titular monster, particularly as it sets the stage for the MonsterVerse as we get ready for Kong vs. Godzilla a few years from now. What that movie holds in store for us remains to be seen, but this release definitely sets the stage for that epic encounter.
It's also packed full of references to previous King Kong movies and a variety of movies and TV shows which clearly inspired the team working on Kong: Skull Island.
Throw in a long list of other great references and world building and Kong: Skull Island is definitely a movie which delivers when it comes to Easter Eggs. So, what are you waiting for? Click through the slideshow below for the full scoop on what to expect from this release, but be warned as it goes without saying that major spoilers follow from here.
10. A Nod To Jurassic Park
Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts doesn't hide his influences in the movie and one of the coolest comes when he pays homage to Jurassic Park. Amazingly, he gets the opportunity to do so with Samuel L. Jackson himself when his character leads his men and the exploration team to the island through a deadly storm which keeps it cut off from the rest of the world.
With the helicopters about to journey through the deadly looking clouds, Jackson's Lieutenant Colonel tells everyone to "Hold on to your butts!" That's a nod to Jurassic Park when his engineer issued the same warning as he shut down the park's power systems.
9. King Kong In Chains
In the original King Kong movie from 1933, the titular monster is captured, chained up, and then paraded in front of an enthusiastic audience on Broadway as his captors bill him as, "The eighth wonder of the world!" He obviously winds up escaping, but Kong: Skull Island finds a fun way of paying homage to that when the beast battles the Alpha Skullcrawler.
Caught up in the chains from a shipwreck which has found its way onto the island's shores, things look bleak for Kong for a second there until he manages to break free and use both the chain and ship as a weapon to knock seven bells into the deadly beast. As homages go, this was very cool.
8. Godzilla's Roar
We already know that Godzilla vs. Kong will be released in 2020 following Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and while that iconic monster is only ever alluded to in Kong: Skull Island, the movie leaves us with a noise which is sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!
As the screen fades to black following the intriguing after-credits scene, Godzilla's roar can be heard loud and clear, an excellent way to set up their eventual conflict and remind fans of who else will be joining Kong in the newly launched MonsterVerse. Godzilla can also be seen in some of the drawings featured in this scene, but we'll get to those in the next slide!
7. King Ghidorah Is Coming
Unfortunately, Kong: Skull Island's after-credits scene was spoiled by overzealous reviewers when the embargo lifted, but it's still well worth sticking around for once this movie wraps up. In cave drawings shown to the characters played by Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, we get to see Rodan, Mothra, and most excitingly, three-headed dragon King Ghidorah.
The latter is shown engaging in battle with Godzilla, and considering the fact his sequel is titled King of the Monsters, it's hard not to wonder if we're going to see them clash on the big screen a couple of years from now. Hell, perhaps even King Kong and Godzilla will ultimately team up to take on King Ghidorah and these other beasts!
6. That's Gotta Hurt
The technology of the time may have been very primitive by today's standards, but in the original King Kong, the titular monster ended a fight with a T-Rex by ripping open its jaw and breaking its neck. The same thing happened in the 1976 version of Peter Jackson's 2005 reboot, and in a bid to keep the tradition going, Jordan Vogt-Roberts does the same in Kong: Skull Island.
Kong effortlessly dispatches of a Skullcrawler using the same method in this movie, though in terms of sheer awesomeness, that pales in comparison to how he ends the fight with the Alpha; with his fist down its throat, the monster tears out his tongue and insides!
5. Unexpected Movie References
We'll get to the clever ways Kong: Skull Island pays homage to Apocalypse Now a little later in this feature, but the action-packed adventure tale also features a fair few other movie (and TV show) references which aren't quite so easy to spot. The character played by Jason Mitchell wears a helmet paying homage to Stanley Kubrick's classic Full Metal Jacket, another Vietnam war movie which has become iconic in the years since its release.
Meanwhile, John C. Reilly's unhinged character's jacket is adorned with a badge stating "Good for your health," a reference to Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Someone in the costume department was clearly a fan of Reilly's Dr. Steve Brule.
We were first introduced to Monarch on 2014's Godzilla. In that movie, we saw two of its members tracking down Godzilla and M.U.T.O., but in Kong: Skull Island, we learn more about the group's origin and why they were initially considered a joke. However, once the surviving members of the exploration team return to civilisation with proof of what they've seen, things change.
That's something which is evident from Brooks and Lin revealing the existence of all those other beasts to the gobsmacked Weaver and Conrad. It definitely feels like we haven't seen the last of these characters, though older actors will obviously be needed to play them if Godzilla vs. Kong takes place in the present day.
3. King Kong's First Love
One of the most iconic pieces of imagery in cinematic history is King Kong holding a beautiful blonde woman in his hand as he swats attacking planes out of the sky. In Kong: Skull Island, we get a definite homage to that when Brie Larson's character is knocked into the ocean during Kong's battle with the Alpha Skullcrawler and he rescues the unconscious damsel in distress from drowning.
The two bond throughout the course of the movie, but rather than battling off man while he holds her in his hand, Kong is forced to take on the Alpha while also keeping her safe. This sequence is expertly animated to show his attempts to keep her safe and a fun way to show how he relates to humanity.
2. Apocalypse Now
The trailers and posters for Kong: Skull Island have made it clear that director Jordan Vogt-Roberts was heavily inspired by Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, and he never once shies away from showing that here. The gorgeous shot of Kong standing tall with the blazing orange sun behind him as the helicopters close in is one obvious example, though there are various pieces of imagery lifted throughout which you should instantly recognise.
However, here's where things get really clever. Tom Hiddleston's Captain James Conrad takes his name from Joseph Conrad, the author of Heart of Darkness, the short story Coppola adapted into Apocalypse Now. John C. Reilly's Hank Marlow is also named after that story's narrator.
1. King Kong Vs. Godzilla
I've mentioned the various nods to Godzilla throughout this feature, but beyond that, Kong: Skull Island is relatively standalone. There was talk of one point about a monster wiping out Kong's family which I thought could be a reference to Godzilla, but in hindsight, it may have actually been the Skullcrawlers (I'm not entirely sure, though, so who knows).
However, one particularly interesting Easter Egg is the clash between the young Marlow and Japanese soldier Gunpei. An argument could be made that they were stand ins for Kong and Godzilla and the fact they ultimately became friends may very well be a sign of what's to come in Kong vs. Godzilla.
What was your favourite Kong: Skull Island Easter Egg? Have we missed any other good references or reveals? As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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