500 Days Of Film Reviews Monster Action, Kong: Skull Island, Starring Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson And John Goodman
In the dying days of the Vietnam War, Bill Randa (John Goodman) brings a diverse team of explorers to an uncharted island in the Pacific. Little do they realise that they have ventured into the dangerous territory of the mighty Kong.
Is It Any Good?
Kong: Skull Island is an enjoyable, visually stunning, geekily cine-literate movie that, while far from perfect, is a fun and entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.
The movie’s greatest asset is, of course, Kong himself. Using motion capture work from Toby Kebbell (who also plays Jack Chapman in the movie), the giant ape is awesome and really rather beautiful to behold. The visual effects in this film are incredible.
Refreshingly, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts introduces Kong (very) early on in the film. Some might argue that this is a tension-depleting mistake. However, I loved watching him and wanted more of Kong, not less.
Vogt-Roberts clearly knows (and loves) his movies and there are film references throughout Kong: Skull Island. The most obvious reference is, of course, Apocalypse Now. Many scenes have a familiar feel as a result - we know exactly how and what is about to go down. We can even predict the film’s song choices.
However, an awareness of the Lost World/Vietnam War/Monster formula does not detract from the enjoyment of this film. This is not a movie that wants to surprise or challenge its audience. It just wants to entertain.
However, for all its fun monster action, Kong: Skull Island is not without problems. Its highly impressive cast are woefully underused, their characters underdeveloped. Samuel L Jackson is a walking Samuel L Jackson cliché. John C Reilly appears as comic relief, with patchy results. In addition, the movie’s script is, bar a couple of smart and funny lines, pretty atrocious.
While I enjoyed Kong: Skull Island’s slo mo sequences (they are rather stunning) and appreciated the film's slower (if sometimes jarring) editing, I did feel that too many scenes (particularly of Tom Hiddleston) were ridiculously posed and overly affected.
All of these irritations fade away the moment Kong returns to the screen. He is a truly awesome character and his scenes are fun and entertaining - it is wonderful to see him back on the big screen.
Stay to the (very) end of the credits for an extra scene.
So I guess we have another franchise on our hands following 2014’s Godzilla.
Have you seen Kong: Skull Island? If you have, what did you think about this movie? Let me know by leaving me a comment in the box below.