samuel l jackson kong skull island

An argument that will stand the test of time. Can Samuel L. Jackson survive all of nature?

In the film Kong: Skull Island, Samuel L. Jackson plays Preston Packard, a lieutenant colonel who goes mad because Kong killed a large chunk of his platoon. Already pissed off by being pulled out of Vietnam, Packard is not about to let his fellow men die in vain and mounts a war against kong, against better judgement. This is as easy a synopsis as I can give for Kong: Skull Island. It’s a fun film that adds pieces of Vietnam War propaganda, stronger films such as Apocalypse Now and plenty of gory, brutal Kong related violence. The filmmakers even avoided that rudimentary plot device of Kong taking a liking to a pretty white woman (Brie Larson). Though the pretty people are not the most interesting pieces of the film (those belong to John Goodman & John C. Reilly), Jackson is maybe the third most interesting piece of the movie. Kong: Skull Island is the latest entry of one of Hollywood’s more interesting plots: Samuel L. Jackson versus Nature.

Samuel L. has a beautiful, sometimes violent history with nature.

Most of it results with him dying in some form or fashion. Most of it involves a memorable one-liner that either precedes his death or ultimately becomes the lynchpin for his ultimate survival. Of Samuel L. Jackson’s 172 (!) credits on IMDB, .035 percent of them (6 films) revolve around outright horror, supernatural or otherwise. .035 percent of them (6 films) involve animals. .006 percent of them (1 film) involves man-made nature (crack cocaine). The remainder of films are an assortment of action or drama or in the case of Pulp Fiction, the perfect synergy of both. Which is merely to say this – Samuel L. Jackson’s common greatest enemy is another human being. Samuel L. Jackson’s most interesting battles with nature are with everything else. For this exercise, we will not focus on supernatural movies (Def By Temptation, The Exorcist III) or movies in which Jackson probably channeled a sort of evil that needed to be exorcised and sent away (Stephen’s deep rooted colorism in Django Unchained).

samuel l jackson jungle fever


Film: Jungle Fever
Released: 1991
Character: Gator Purify

Concept: Spike Lee’s discussion on interracial dating, workplace romance and the complications of it all. It spanned a rather comically bad Stevie Wonder song of the same name. Yet the most interesting piece from Jungle Fever is not the two leads, Wesley Snipes or Annabella Sciorra. Their particular drama and strife is common. Instead, the most depressing and tragic piece of Jungle Fever is Samuel L. Jackson.

Does Samuel L. Jackson Lose To Nature? Does He Die? Yes. Samuel L. Jackson loses to crack.
How? His father, played by Ossie Davis shoots him after he steals his mother’s TV to buy crack. It’s one part religious indignation, part Greek tragedy. Because it’s quite clear that the man-made nature of crack cocaine pretty much has ruined all of the redeemable qualities of Gator Purify. Bonus points because this was easily the briefest bit of drama for a young Halle Berry and she knocked it out the park. The Gator Dance will forever live on.

Memorable Quote: “I’ma a crack head … I love gettin’ high.”


Film: Jurassic Park
Released: 1993
Character: John Arnold

Concept: Man decides not to leave well enough alone and genetically engineers dinosaurs for an amusement park. Shit goes crazy, people die. Similar situations would play out for another three damn movies.

Does Samuel L. Jackson Lose To Nature? Does He Die? Yes. Samuel L. Jackson loses to a dinosaur.
How? As the chief engineer of the theme park, it’s John Arnold’s duty to make sure the lights remain on. He shuts down the system and restarts it, hoping that the computers that help operate Jurassic Park would come back online. When Arnold goes back on his own to boot up more computers in the maintenance shed, he vanishes. Just gone. It’s implied that he got ridiculously ripped to shreds by Velociraptors. Then Laura Dern’s disheveled self later goes into the shed and thinks she has a familiar hand to touch. Nope, that’s Arnold’s dismembered bloody right arm you’ve gotta deal with.

Memorable Quote: “Hold on to your butts.”


Film: Deep Blue Sea
Released: 1999
Character: Russell Franklin

Concept: While man decides to investigate a cure for Alzheimers, man also manages to genetically mutate sharks to make them smarter. Similar verse to Jurassic Park. Only that this isn’t an amusement park.

Does Samuel L. Jackson Lose To Nature? Does He Die? Yes. Samuel L. Jackson loses to a shark.
How? You know the memorable Chappelle Show skit quote about Samuel L. Jackson beer? This is how we got it. As the leader of a squad of people determined to figure out how genetically mutated sharks are killing people, Franklin is tasked with roping everybody together with a little rah rah. Only problem is, he’s standing right in front of an opening large enough for a shark to come snatch his ass out of nowhere. It ranks as one of the more memorable shock deaths of Samuel L’s career. And that’s a career that included being a) shot dead by Michael Keaton in Jackie Brown; b) getting murdered by Gary Oldman in True Romance; c) being the main point of murdered reference in Eve’s Bayou and d) killed violently by Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. People seem to enjoy killing Samuel L. Jackson characters.

Memorable Quote: Pretty much the entire monologue before he’s eaten.


Film: Snakes On A Plane
Released: 2006
Character: Neville Flynn

Concept: A crime syndicate leader places large, aggressive, venomous snakes in the cargo hold of an airplane. Death and mayhem occur.

Does Samuel L. Jackson Lose To Nature? Does He Die? No. Samuel L. Jackson does not lose to a snake.
How? Unlike the four other entries on this list, the former Jules Winfield is actually the hero in Snakes On A Plane. And not just any hero, we’re talking the embodiment of every brash Samuel L. Jackson character that has existed. Somewhere around Pulp Fiction did Samuel L. Jackson’s action hero character morph into its own thing – hair or no hair necessary. Oh and in Snakes On A Plane, Flynn manages to help land a plane, eject a bunch of snakes and shoot someone in the chest to kill another snake.

Memorable Quote: I’ll give you one guess.


Film: Kong: Skull Island
Released: 2017
Character: Preston Packard

Concept: After Vietnam, a military envoy is sent to the mysterious Skull Island to prove it exists. People die, monsters exists, Samuel L. Jackson wants to say “motherfucker” but sadly won’t.

Does Samuel L. Jackson Lose To Nature? Does He Die? Yes. Samuel L. Jackson does lose to an ape.
How? Kong: Skull Island has been out for two weeks now, rendering all spoiler alert mentions useless. The last major Jackson film was The Legend of Tarzan, which found him on the side of the apes and exposing the continuance of the African slave trade. Kong: Skull Island is about personal vengeance for Sam Jack. The moment they hit the island, they drop bombs and immediately disturb all of Kong’s chi. Kong wilds out, kills a bunch of them, including one group with a tree! The finale comes with Sam Jack trying to wage a war with bullets and fire against the last descendant of the Skull Island apes. Sam tries to call Kong a motherfucker, Kong crushes Sam Jack with his fist. Kong does not want you to call him a motherfucker.

Memorable Quote: “Bitch please!” (Packard to Brie Larson’s character.)