This film fully immerses audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island. – Legendary Entertainment
All hail the king. The newest installment in the Monsterverse is here, following up 2014’s Godzilla. I quite liked Godzilla but there was just not enough of the titular character. Kong: Skull Island was one of the films I was looking forward to most this year and it fixes some of the problems of Godzilla. As a child who grew up having Jurassic Park as his favorite movie a movie like this is something that is going to appeal to me. I am happy to say I was not disappointed with this movie.
Kong: Skull Island is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts who directed The Kings of Summer, a very well received indie film that I’ve heard nothing but good things about and he also directed American Ham the Netflix stand-up/sketch comedy special of Nick Offerman. I have seen the later and I enjoyed it but it is vastly different from Kong: Skull Island. So Vogt-Roberts is relatively unknown but the dude did a hell of a job with this one. The cinematography in this movie is absolutely beautiful. Everything about the film looks good, the action set pieces are awesome, the island looks so real, the monsters are very cool and Kong, well he is king. Seriously Kong looks awesome, this Kong is more of an ape than a gorilla and he is just massive. 125 feet I believe, the tallest Kong we’ve ever seen, he has gotta be big to fight Godzilla. The CG for Kong was quite good too, every thing about Kong, the island and the monsters were great. Heck I want more of the island. Unfortunately their are some downfalls to the film and it mostly comes from the characters.
The cast in this film is immense and they are all pretty solid actors, seriously. Sam Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Corey Hawkins, Tobey Kebbell and the list goes on and on. Sadly the large cast is one of the problems, these are all pretty solid actors and they just don’t get enough screen time or development. On top of all that some of the dialogue is just awkward and clunky. But for the most part I got over it and enjoyed most of the characters and would’ve like to have seen more from them. John C. Reilly was easily the best human character, he provided many laughs and he certainly had most of the development. He was easily the most interesting character as he had the largest backstory seeing as he has been stuck on Skull Island since World War II and it is now 1973 near the end of the Vietnam war. Another plus is that Tobey Kebbell is in this movie and it doesn’t suck, he was in Fantastic Four, one of the biggest pieces of garbage I’ve ever seen. I can get over all the character downfalls because there is only one character who really matters and he is done perfectly and that is Kong.
So I quite liked this movie, I had a blast watching it. I saw this film in IMAX 3D and I definitely think that is the way to see this movie. This movie looks absolutely stunning in IMAX. Another thing I really liked about this movie was the soundtrack, the soundtrack is absolutely awesome, we’ve got CCR, Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones. The soundtrack really embodies the era of the film and provides some levity. This film is inevitably going to be compared to Peter Jackson’s King Kong. I didn’t really like that one it was way too long and boring, it looked pretty good though but it was a remake. Kong: Skull Island was a completely fresh interpretation of the character of Kong and it was a brand new story, another one of the reasons why I quite enjoyed it. This is a super fun popcorn flick where you don’t have to think much and can just enjoy a giant monkey smashing stuff.
Dear Billy, see this movie.
I give Kong: Skull Island a 7 out of 10, would watch again.
As a bonus below the trailer you find a review written by my very good friend Connor Sheehy who asked that I include it. Possible spoilers ahead.
Kong: Skull Island
Fan Theories, Plot Overview, Critical Analysis, and more
Giants spiders, gargantuan water buffalo, and one big ass monkey. Kong: Skull Island is the latest attempt to tell a story of an impossibly large ape who kicks ass and isn’t shy to hit on the lead female character whomever it may be. Most people likely remember the 2005 adaptation to this idea with director Peter Jackson and casting of big shots like Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and Adrien Brody. I still get gooses bumps remembering when Kong pulls apart a t-rex’s jaw. And now, 12 years later we all get to experience a new take on this mega idea.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts takes on the responsibility of running the show as the director. This may have been his big break since…since? Well I have personally never seen any of his other work. That could just be me being more uncivilized than a couple of Skull crawlers or this is his first big thing he’s done. I do have to give a shout out to a few key camera shots of panoramic views to gives an idea of how big Kong is in this film. There were also more subtle shots like a quick first person snap while mayhem pursued all around in one scene which created discourse as the viewer and I loved it. By my standards of Rob not being a big name for me, I think he did a pretty swell job.
To summarize the actors’ roles and plot in one word, I would have to pick “predictable”. The opening scene was fantastic except for the storm trooper quality aiming from either pilot. It was also a power move by Roberts to show his massive “Kong” right in our faces from the get-go in the same scene. The following scene troubled me with dialogue and how easy it was to get the missions approved. Bill and Houston start by bickering about how it’s too soon to try and convince their local senator about such a mission. And sure, enough that dad from “Step Brothers” shoots them down immediately. Yet 30 seconds later everyone watching the film learned a valuable life lesson. If you want to get cool things from the government, just use Russia as an excuse and they’ll cave immediately. This sort of dialogue is just too quick and unfortunately pursued throughout the film. This resulted in me predicting how each scene was going to turn out from here on after.
But hey! Loki shows up and he’s an absolute badass in bar fights! But nothing much else. He was hyped up to be a cool retired SAS operative who could track anything and turned out to be guy with a cool accent and played the good guy the whole time. I know Tom is a great actor and I feel as though he was held back with plot scenes and lack of communication. The love interest that turned out to be nothing and wasted my time was our antiwar photographer, Mason Weaver. Brie Larson fit the role perfectly as a badass and independent female. Yes, I saw her lifting a helicopter to save a water buffalo and fixing the boat engine. It was nice seeing her character have an active role with her group and didn’t just twiddle her thumbs until she could become bff’s with Kong.
One big plot hole that chapped my ass was that in a panoramic shot coming to the island, there was one large ship carrying just a couple helicopters. But as soon as it was time to fly into the island, the number of helicopters jumped to over a dozen somehow. It can’t be that hard to CGI another boat or two. The search and rescue for Jack Chapman was also just waste of time since he dies so unexpectedly. He should have died during the initial fire fight with Kong, and then Samuel L. Jackson can stick with wanting to get the explosives from the start.
Speaking of Samuel L. Jackson, was I the only one to catch his golden phrase from “Jurassic Park” of “hold on to your butts”. I smell a fan theory of Owen riding into the island in the future with some his velociraptor pals to help Kong defeat the dinosaurs who escaped their captivity and are being treated as an invasive species. Brb I need to go change my pants. I can go on about this idea, but much like the film, it is just a fantasy.
That is something to keep in mind for those who have not seen it when comparing it to the 2005 film being a drama. So, let me also point out that each suspenseful scene started out great, but never came to fruition because comic relief was apparently a surplus the whole time. Granted John C. Reilly having a role in this film sort of gives it away that there will be some funny scenes from there on out guaranteed.
The resolution was lacking but the big boss fight was wicked sick brah. Overall I though the film was a good one time watch, but can be easily forgotten. 7.5/10 is my rating overall.