Warning: This post may contain spoilers
Disclaimer: The views in this post are solely my opinion. King Kong, Skull Island and all related content are property of Warner Bros. Legendary and Universal Pictures.
This past Friday, Kong: Skull Island launched in theatres nationwide. It is the second film in the Legendary/WB Kaijuverse series as well as the first King Kong film to hit the big screen in roughly twelve years. Is it a film worthy of the King Kong legacy, or is this ape a false prince!? Lets find out.
In terms of negatives, thankfully there aren’t very many, the only thing I could think of off the top of my head is some of the soldier characters are all pretty generic and one dimensional, though given that most of them end up being cannon fodder this makes sense, but it would have helped the film to give more then a couple of them a defined personality. Also Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the leader of set soldiers and the one who ends up being the human villain of the film is a fairly stereotypical villain to the point it gets ridiculously over the top , also the CG effect used to make Kong and the other beasts at times does seem a bit off and other then Kong himself some of the monsters look more like beasts who walked out of a video game as opposed to ones made for a film. But overall these are minor complaints in the big scheme of things and in no way ruin the film as a whole.
Kong: Skull island has a lot of positives going for it, it is finally an original story with the Character and not yet another rehash of the same old tired tale, it also serves as a decent prequel and set-up to Godzilla and the other upcoming Kaiju films in a way as it takes place in 1973 as opposed to the modern day. The actors all give genuinely solid performances especially John Goodman, John C. Riley & Jason Mitchell who all help bring some fun and life to the cast. And while true Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson’s characters are fairly subdued in terms of line reading most of the time, they do execute their roles well enough to make you care about their character’s survival. Kong also thankfully has a pretty active role in the film, unlike other monster movies which show more of the humans then the title creature, Kong balances out its time well between the humans trying to survive the island and Kong fighting various other not so gentle giants, ranging from a giant squid to the main threat of the Skullcrawlers
As for story and structure, things are fairly straight forward, John Goodman’s character believes Skull Island will finally help him prove that monsters exist and the group piggybacks on another scientific expedition to the island under the guise of geological surveying. After that it is your typical survival story mixed with your typical giant monster story, but that is by no means a bad thing as both are well executed and both the Kaiju and survival aspects of the film are well balanced out for the most. Kong may not fight a T-Rex like in days of old, but his fights with the squid and the Skincrawlers, and the human soldiers fights with a giant spider and deadly mini pterodactyl like birds are all fairly entertaining ones. Like most stories things escalate up to the end point where Kong ends up facing both Samuel L. Jackson and the leader of the Skincrawlers which is as large as him. The film of course is given a happy ending with Kong defeating his foes and the remaining humans successfully making it off Skull Island. The film also gives us a nice little easter egg at the end as Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson’s characters are told Kong wasn’t the only monster out there and we see pictures of cave paintings of Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan & King Ghidorah.
Overall if you are a King Kong or Kaiju fan, I would say the film is indeed worth checking out.