MOVIE REVIEW – KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Kong is still King. Kong: Skull Island opens everywhere today and at its simplest form, it is pure escapism and that’s not a bad thing. Warning, spoilers ahead…
If you’re a fan of the old monster films, where the creatures are larger than life and at times more interesting than the humans fighting them, you’ll probably walk away feeling satisfied. Although I didn’t see this in IMAX, I think that it might serve the film even more if you did. Unlike Godzilla of a couple of years ago, it doesn’t take too long for Kong to make an appearance and flex his muscles. The CGI looks phenomenal.
The premise of the story which takes place in 1973 during the closing moments of the Vietnam War, centers around a group of soldiers and scientists investigating a mysterious island in the South Pacific with different agendas. The soldiers were led to believe by a government official, Bill Randa (John Goodman) that he wants to explore this uncharted island from a purely scientific purpose. He even brings with him a tracker, James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and a photographer, Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) to help document this expedition. However, things turn to a horror show the moment they cross over and fly over Skull Island. After releasing seismic chargers, the convoy of helicopters were attacked by Kong who looks to defend his island. Randa’s agenda was not a scientific one to study the island but to prove monsters like Kong exist to the world. As a young military man, Randa was the only survivor of an attack by such monsters.
After losing many of his men, Army Captain, Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), becomes Ahab but instead of hunting Moby Dick, he’s hell bent on killing Kong. Captain Packard will soon find out that Kong isn’t the only threat at alone the most frightening. He wants to show that man is king. Good luck with that.
Broken off from the others, James and Mason find the human inhabitants of Skull Island including a stranded pilot from WW2 (John C. Reilly). Together they try to get to the other side of the island to rendezvous with their pick-up party. Along the way, they battle “skull crawlers”, a lizard like monster that live underground. Kong ends up saving the day for most of the humans as he battles these monsters in an epic battle that Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts does a very good job of staging.
Kong is pretty fast-paced and offers tons of action and decent enough acting to give the film a thumbs up to see. The film also has its share of perhaps unintentionally funny moments like Sam Jackson saying “hold on to your butts”, like he did a couple of decades earlier in another small monster film called Jurassic Park. It must be a prerequisite. Also, it was nice seeing the Marvel Cinematic Universe represented with Jackson (Nick Fury), Hiddleston (Loki) and Larson (the future Ms. Marvel). And what has become a staple in Marvel films is a post credits scene that sets up future films in a big, BIG way.
Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly
PG13 118 mins
KONG: SKULL ISLAND – *** (out of 5 stars)
May the Dork be with you,
The Dork Knight