Kong: Skull Island: Movie Review
With thrilling visuals and a booming soundtrack, "Kong: Skull Island" knows how to set itself up to be a wholeheartedly fun experience. And while the King Kong mythos has been played around with time and time again, "Kong: Skull Island" does enough deviation to actually make this a refreshing and worthwhile reboot.
It is 1973 and America just pulled out of the Vietnam War. But 48 hours before the helicopter brigade Sky Devils are set to go home, they are recruited to assist and escort the team of William Randa (John Goodman) set to conduct a mapping expedition of the isolated island known as Skull Island. The brigade's leader, Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), readily accepts the mission. Unbeknownst to the expedition, they are crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong (Terry Notary) - a giant ape that serves as the island's god and protector. Under attack and desperate, the team must find a way to go to their extraction point in 3 days time while exploring the treacherous inhabitants of Skull Island.
King Kong is one of the most iconic characters that everyone seems to know about so making a modern reboot is probably one of the hardest things to accomplish. But "Kong: Skull Island" turns out to be an exhilarating and fresh contribution into the mythos. In fact, it deviates from the basics. There's no damsel that he falls in love with, he doesn't get captured or even taken away from his home. Kong stays at home in the jungle and boy was it fun to watch. For the most part, this was brought in by the outstanding eye candy within the film. We won't say it was photorealistic but the animations were crisp and the fights truly monstrous in scale. We couldn't help but feel terrified when the various monsters came out to hunt the humans. Another high point for the film was the soundtrack which featured various songs from the era. It definitely set the mood and added to the atmosphere of actually being in the 70s. The narrative was great overall but this is also where the film gets its low points. We loved how unpredictable the deaths could be - literally anyone can die anytime during the film's runtime. It was also interesting how it deeply explores the effects of PTSD that affects how our characters, in turn, decide what to do. But "Kong: Skull Island" failed to feel fully developed especially with its side stories. Each felt under-developed and non-essential to the film. Then there's also the Chinese character of Jing Tian that felt so forced and out of place. In connection with this, the film also struggles to strike a balance with its numerous characters where most - even the leads - turned out to be rough visualizations of their whole potential. While "Kong: Skull Island" isn't perfect, it's one heck of a thrill ride that anyone should find entertaining.
Rating: 4 reels
Why you should watch it:
- A refreshing take on the King Kong mythos
- Booming visuals and soundtrack that's a feast for the eyes and ears
Why you shouldn't watch it:
- The film fails to develop its side stories
- Jing Tian's Chinese character is obviously out of place and forced
Credits to Warner Bros. Pictures. for the photos.
Labels action, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Jing Tian, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, King Kong, Kong: Skull Island, monster, movie review, Samuel L. Jackson, Shea Whigham, Terry Notary, Toby Kebbell, Tom Hiddleston