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Review: Kong: Skull Island

Samuel L. Jackson stars in Warner Bros. Pictures' KONG: SKULL ISLAND

Kong: Skull Island doesn’t only represent the early continuation of a potentially exciting season of blockbusters for 2017, it also hopes to set up something bigger with the character in 2020. Warner Bros. is hoping for a mashup between he and Godzilla that year that could excite many across the world. But before these monsters can collide, the people behind this adventure would need to make sure that there was something worth selling so that audiences would want to buy.

In this picture, we follow a group filled with soldiers, scientists, and adventurers who come together to take a journey to a land in the Pacific that’s foreign to all of the known world. It’s a beautiful portrait of nature that they come to discover hides an uncountable number of beasts of all shapes and sizes. This alone presents a number of dangers, but nothing is as deadly and vicious as the one simply known as Kong. On the rest of the planet, man is king, but on this mythical island, Kong is the proven and unquestioned king.

Kong: Skull Island can basically be described as a Vietnam movie that contains plenty of features seen in films about that brutal war. It’s so reminiscent of those pictures at times that it seems as if all they need is to play The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter at some point to make it complete. However, when looking at everything else that this entails, you can’t say that it’s completely obsessed with that controversial war.

This also proves to be a blend of films that is somehow made to feel original in a strange way. I guess when you mix features from Apocalypse Now, Moby Dick and a plethora of other iconic stories of the past, you can kind of get something you haven’t really experienced before. This is ultimately what we get from Kong: Skull Island. It’s a bunch of things wrapped into one that can stand on its own in some weird way.

One thing that’s become more and more common these days is the way movies like this handle the level of responsibility of the main character. In Skull Island, Tom Hiddleston gets top billing, but he doesn’t really do all that much and is never able to separate himself from the rest of the cast. In reality, you could have almost featured someone like Thomas Mann at the top of the cast and have gotten the same result.  The only difference is that one has starred in bigger movies and is given one ultimately insignificant scene where he sort of stands out for an instant.

This approach appears to be a practice that films such as Kong: Skull Island, Jurassic World and the most recent release of Godzilla are going with for now. I’m assuming they’re under the impression that they don’t really have a need for a lead protagonist. And when you take a look at the cast of characters, they all tend to be one-dimensional and are pretty much just there for the ride in most cases. With Skull Island in particular, we can tell more about their personalities by the way they dress and their job titles than we can from their actual traits or their back stories.

With all that’s included, Kong: Skull Island is a flick that should be taken lightly in every way. While some of the actors play their roles as seriously as they’re required to, the movie itself is about having as much fun as possible. The lack of character development in Skull Island could be seen as a flaw, but that would depend on what you’re expecting from this movie. I too would usually see this as a negative, but because of what this is, it’s difficult to look at it from that perspective.

The creators of this picture want to use the events here as a way to continue toward the Godzilla/King Kong movie we’re all expecting to see in the not too distant future. To accomplish that, they’ve provided us with something that is amusing and good enough to get you interested about what the future may hold. While it isn’t perfect or anything, Kong: Skull Island serves its purpose and will likely satisfy most viewers who know not to expect something that contains a compelling amount of depth.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Cast:
Tom Hiddleston,
Samuel L. Jackson
John Goodman
Brie Larson
Jing Tian
Toby Kebbell
John Ortiz
Corey Hawkins
Jason Mitchell
Shea Whigham
Thomas Mann
Terry Notary
John C. Reilly

Film Length: 118 minutes

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Score - 7/10
    7/10
7/10
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