KONG SKULL ISLAND: Compassion and Sacrifice | FCC 144

In KONG SKULL ISLAND, James Conrad (played by Tom Hiddleston) and Hank Marlow (played by John C. Reilly) both have enough compassion that they would sacrifice themselves to save others. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap 
  • 00:03:04 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:27:57 – Listener Feedback
  • 00:33:19 – Christian Themes in KONG: SKULL ISLAND
  • 00:57:48 – Upcoming

Compassion and James Conrad

James Conrad is a professional tracker who suffers from a bad case of homesickness. As Bill Randa points out in a conversation at the bar in Saigon, “Men go to war in search if things, Conrad. If you had found it you’d be home now.” Randa’s words make Conrad realize of homesick he actually was, and they convince him to go along on Randa’s adventure.

Conrad’s homesickness, however, speaks more deeply to his sense of compassion. He feels for others who can’t get home, so he’s made finding lost men his forte. When he meets Lieutenant Hank Marlow in the wilderness, he wants to bring him home. When Major Packard reveals that a soldier named Chapman is lost, Conrad makes it his mission to find him. This is compassion at its finest.

When Kong’s own life is in danger, then, Conrad takes it upon himself and a few others to save the eponymous beast. Because James Conrad lives a life of compassion, it’s easy to make this decision; it’s practically a second nature.

This image from KONG SKULL ISLAND shows Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad.

Christians can see a similar form of compassion in the Apostle Paul. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he deliberates his evangelistic method. Instead of solidifying his ministry with his own house rules and only helping those who would follow those rules, Paul became “all things to all people so that he might save some.” James Conrad embodies this mantra, and we can learn from both his and Paul’s example.

Sacrifice and Hank Marlow

Another fine example of compassion in KONG SKULL ISLAND comes in the form of Lieutenant Hank Marlow. As he is also a compassionate character, though, he can also be understood in terms of his sacrificial love. Not to say that James Conrad doesn’t have this same capacity, but the theme is more poetically displayed in Marlow’s character.

Marlow is, after all, a soldier. He signed up in WWII to give his life for his friends and family. Even when hunted by his enemy Gunpei, the two of them become blood brothers once on the island. When the decision is made to leave the island, then, it pains Marlow to leave his brother behind. Once again, it’s a lifetime of sacrificial choices that comes to a head in this film.

This image from KONG SKULL ISLAND shows John C Reilly as Hank Marlow.

Just like Conrad, it’s nothing for Marlow to risk his life in order to save Kong’s. As Conrad comes to tell the civilians to return to the boat, Marlow takes up his sword (Gunpei’s sword, no less) and rides into battle. It’s a near-perfect image of what Christ calls “no greater love” – Marlow laying down his own life for those of his friends – and we would do well to follow in those footsteps.

Key Texts for Kong Skull Island

Let these passages be your guide as you watch KONG SKULL ISLAND with friends and loved ones.

1 Corinthians 9:19 NASB

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.

John 15:13 NLT

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a good way to use stories to soften peoples' hearts. Find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever.
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