Kong: King of the Apes – The Adventure Begins

by Alan Rapp on April 17, 2016

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Kong: King of the Apes – The Adventure Begins
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Kong: King of the Apes - The Adventure Begins

A longtime fan of King Kong, I was curious to see what Netflix had in store for the giant ape in their new animated series Kong: King of the Apes. Opening with a plodding movie to set the stage for the shorter individual episodes, “The Adventure Begins” gives us the backstory of baby Kong being found and rescued from poachers in the near future where most wildlife is extinct. Rescued by a scientist and his twin sons Lucas and Richard, Kong eventually outgrows the family’s ability to keep him secret eventually leading him to be the main attraction at a wildlife preserve or Alcatraz island stocked with other endangered animals and bio-mechanical robots in the form of dinosaurs and other creatures.

It takes an awfully long time for the show to set-up what will be the status quo for the rest of the season with Kong and Lucas framed as criminals by the bad seed Richard who loves his robotic creations far more than anything born in nature (including his own family). The writing of the opening movie is weak, to put it kindly, particularly during the early scenes set during Lucas and Richard’s childhood. Jumping a decade into the future the brothers’ disagreements about Kong and animal life become the crux of the series. The show’s message of environmental conservation is so heavy-handed you almost find yourself rooting for the poachers and the whiny Richard to put everyone out of their misery. With the animation itself being a mixed bag (the animals ceratinly get more love than the humans) the result is a disappointing opening movie (filled with unnecessary and distracting video game pop-ups) that struggles to sell either its premise or its characters.

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