'Kong: Skull Island' Final Trailer: When Does Bad Become Good?

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'Kong: Skull Island' is out in theaters March 10, is similar to greatest war film ever made. Legendary Entertainment

How is the new, final trailer for 'Kong: Skull Island' simultaneously so good and so loaded with dumb stuff?

When the Zero Dark Thirty trailer launches into that industrial girls’ choir cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” we as a nation collectively weeped and thrust out fistfuls of damp cash for a feature-length, pro-torture, pro-CIA propaganda film. A cascade of movie trailers backed by mawkish, haunting choral covers followed, and it got old somewhere around Suicide Squad ’s “I Started a Joke.” But they weren’t done, oh no, because here comes Transformers: The Last Knight and Logan with sad man song covers to dignify robot punching and that yellow guy who says “bub” all the time.

The final trailer for Kong: Skull Island has a supremely on-the-nose remix of The Animals’ “We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place,” dramatizing exactly how much they need to get out of that place.

CGI slugfests have been ruining action and adventure movies for years. After the Burly Brawl it looked like there’d be no going back. The future was pixels-in-the-shape-of-monsters punching each other and pixels-in-the-shape-of-cars crashing. But the backlash worked. Now every Fast and Furious and Tom Cruise movie relies on practical stunts as a significant selling point. Horror movies are proud of practical gore again. Mad Max: Fury Road perfected the art of blending the real and the fake, then marketing only the “real.” The box office may still be glutted with live-action animation like The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Wrath of the Titans, Hercules and Gods of Egypt, but no one particularly likes it.

The final trailer for Kong: Skull Island is a CGI highlights reel of all the computer creatures in the movie’s immense bestiary. It culminates in a digital gorilla hitting a digital “Skullcrawler” in the face with a tree.

Here’s that final Kong: Skull Island trailer, which is full of things that are bad:

So why is it so good?

Maybe we’re just suckers for rhythmic editing and there’s still plenty of room to ape that wonderful Mad Max: Fury Road trailer before we get sick of it.

Or maybe Kong: Skull Island will achieve that rare plateau: CGI-intensive action movies that justify artificiality with imagination and the storytelling to back up visual splendor that would otherwise ring hollow. Let’s hope this is the proper answer, otherwise we’re all going to feel a little silly for getting our hopes up when Kong: Skull Island comes out March 10.

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