Kong: Skull Island will be crashing into theaters in less than two weeks, but apparently, the film’s marketing team is still hard at work, being that an official final trailer dropped earlier today for Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ take on the mythic ape. Normally, having an umpteenth trailer released this close to a film’s premiere smacks of desperation, but this time around, that impression is overwhelmed by the trailer’s unexpectedly upbeat packaging, which is a surprising and welcome departure from the relative portentousness of previous teasers.
The trailer’s playfulness is evident from the get-go—the obligatory presentation of studio logos occurs to the beat of the soundtrack, which contains the usual, “epic” orchestral melodies but is largely driven by a sunny, classic rock tune that seems pulled from the Guardians of the Galaxy playbook of non-self-serious blockbuster filmmaking. This interplay between song and editing occurs throughout the trailer, giving the sense of a movie that’s jigging and prancing its way through what otherwise appears to be pretty standard, high-budget spectacle.
An additional bonus is the fact that, in Kong’s case, “standard” actually doesn’t look too standard. Amid the rock ‘em sock ‘em action that—from the trailer, anyway—looks a bit too derivative of Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong, we see striking bursts of visual flair, from the inclusion of putrid yellow in the color scheme to the already-iconic shot of the great ape standing silhouetted against the sun. What made Godzilla a minor miracle was the way it created lovely, idiosyncratic images from within the Hollywood tentpole system. Here’s hoping Kong: Skull Island will do the same.
Check out the final trailer above, find its insane Japanese poster here and catch the film when it hits theaters on March 10.