‘Kong Skull Island’ offers monster thrills, amazing effects and a buff Tom Hiddleston
From the studio who adapted Godzilla, comes a new King Kong film: Kong: Skull Island. Energized by an all-star cast (Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C Reilly) Skull Island gives audiences a 2017 look at the legendary creature.
Set at the close of the Vietnam War, a team of scientists (led by Goodman’s character) want to explore a mysterious island in the Pacific uncovered by new surveillance imagery. On the island are amazing creatures and massive gorilla: Kong. The explorers and their military escorts are quickly outmatched and decimated after taking on the beast. This shifts to a race for survival and less about discovery.
Jackson spouts some curse words with a famous scowl and bad attitude as John C. Reilly steals every scene, playing a marooned World War II vet who has managed to survive on the island. Hiddleston and Larson are the protagonists as the filmmakers avoid the trapping of previous Kong films of subduing or capturing the giant ape.
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts gives the studio what they wanted: amazing effects, a face paced film with high profile talent and set up future films. In all of that, Skull Island is a raging success.
The main island creature eating people and attacking Kong are Skullcrawlers: hideous, reptilian Kaiju. They are dumb substitutes for interesting battles like the T-Rex or dinosaurs familiar to the audience. Humanizing Kong is one thing, but trying to make the enormous lizard a strategic or plotting creature was just a horrible idea.
That said, it was fun to watch. 2017 technology make this film possible and, while it was forced in a post-credit scene, a match up with Godzilla will certainly bring out the fans.
Hiddleston obviously worked out to look the part of action hero and Larson avoids becoming the damsel in distress, which were both bonuses in the film. It does seem silly to cast great actors as Shea Whigham, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins or Toby Kebbell to become fodder for the action sequences.
Want to enjoy a summer time popcorn film in the Spring? Then Skull Island will work for you.
Are you expecting a thoughtful, interesting or new take on King Kong or monster films? Stay home, you’ll be disappointed.
The film achieved it’s purpose, already earning over $260 million globally and ensuring the franchise will grow.
Overall Kong: Skull Island receives 2 1/2 stars out of 5 stars