Kong: Skull Island (2017)

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Kong: Skull Island

When I heard that a cinematic “Monsterverse” was being planned, I got excited. I love giant monster films. There’s something about a badass giant monster wrecking havoc that is so captivating. I think Godzilla (2014) was a bit slow and flawed from a storytelling perspective but the monster action scenes were fantastic and its really all you can ask for from a monster film. As expected its more or less the same deal with Kong: Skull Island. Its a flawed film but the monster scenes and the action is terrific.

The film follows a team of people who have been hired to explore the mysterious Skull Island. What the crew do not realize is that they have disturbed a giant inhabitant of the island: King Kong. Much like with Godzilla, Kong is a bit of an antihero. There are more dangerous creatures on Skull Island and Kong is a protector against them. The main foes in the film are giant lizard-like beings that kill whatever is in their way and are at war with King Kong. Much like other monster films, humans are caught in between.  For my review, I will start with all the negatives before divulging into the positives.

The characters in this film for the most part suck. They are bland, muted, unmotivated and just are there without much characterization. The ones with a bit of character (John C. Reilly) are fed uninspiring dialogue. The humorous moments are predictable and fall flat. Brie and Tom didn’t have much chemistry and both characters were so bland and could have disappeared without notice. Its a relatively unknown director at the helm of this Kong film, I think he did a good job but the film would have prospered with a better script, characters, and direction. At times (not that often) the CGI looks ropy at best and its distracting (especially with the non Kong creatures).

Now the positives. Every scene with Kong in it is captivating and mesmerizing. There’s more of Kong in this than say Godzilla in the 2014 reboot, which is nice. You don’t want to overdo the monster presence and this film just had it right. The final battle between Kong and the skull crawler was fantastic. If you love monster films and blockbuster action sequences, prepare to be on the edge of your seat. Kong took a while to get used to but overall he looked great, had great visuals, and a nice roar. The poster scene with helicopters flying at Kong against the backdrop of the setting sun was incredible.

The film is flawed for sure. The human moments aren’t very inspiring, its hard to connect with any of the characters, and there’s a bit too many bland characters running around. However, if you are like me you are here for some epic monster v monster action and in that regard you will not be disappointed. I’m excited with the prospect of a Monsterverse. Also, stay tuned after the credits for something really great.

7.5/10

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