We have written before, that we love a creature feature so it was always likely we were going to see Kong: Skull Island.
However coming from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts who we had never heard of, for a blockbuster movie we went in with low hopes, especially as our previous King Kong watches have always left us entertained, but wanting more.
It is safe to say that for us, this was a game changer, Kong is pretty much seen in the opening sequence and had a strong presence throughout the film, no hour wait like the Peter Jackson or other films.
The storyline is simple enough, Bill Randa (John Goodman) a government agent has discovered Skull Island, which has been unchartered and gets a team together to research it, believing it could have signs that could help with medication etc.
With the Vietnam War ending, he is granted a team, when he sells it they only have 2 weeks to beat the Russians to it.
He quickly hires James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) to guide them on the island, as well as his team of scientists; Houston (Corey Hawkins); San (Tian Jing) & Landsat employees overseeing the mission, Victor (John Ortiz) & Steve (Marc Evan Johnson) as well as a photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson).
With an escort from the US Army led by Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson) with others including Mills (Jason Mitchell) Slivko (Thomas Mann) Cole (Shea Wingham) & Jack (Toby Kebbell who also helped with acting/motion capture duties for Kong with Terry Notary) plus plenty of others who will be killed by Kong and the many other creatures that inhabit Skull Island.
After a stunning encounter with Kong, which sees numerous aircraft destroyed by the great monkey, the cast get almost split into 2 teams, the soldiers led by Preston whereas many of the scientists get stranded with Conrad & Weaver on the other side of the Island, where they will meet up with a tribe who live and worship Kong and meet Hank Marlow (John C Reilly) a US soldier who has been stuck on the island since being shot down in World War 2!
A race is on for all to get to the rendezvous point to get away from the Island, and not all will survive.
The special effects for this movie are great, and it is them that made this film so worth the admission, from squid-like monsters to giant insects as well as a nemesis for Kong named as Skull crawlers. The film also has a great fun popcorn feel to it, unlike Gareth Edwards 2014 Godzilla, which we felt was far too serious for a film of this nature.
The cast all do good, knowing they are second best to the effects, Hiddleston does well with what he has to do but Larson is a complete waste her ability, after her great Oscar-winning performance in Room. In fact, the same can be said for the other female role, wasting Tian Jing, one of the best things about the weaker The Great Wall.
In fact, the same can be said for the other female role, wasting Tian Jing, one of the best things about the weaker The Great Wall.
Reilly and Jackson for us are the standouts. Reilly brings the comedy needed for a big no-brainer B-movie like this and Jackson plays his role almost the same as his man in charge role in another BMAF favourite Deep Blue Sea. Goodman and the rest of the cast all help move the film along, Kebbell also provides a lot of fun too.
The deaths are nothing too graphic, although Kong does manage to punch, swallow and squash many a soldier under his foot. The creatures are also as good as anything the Jurassic Park/World franchise has offered up so far.
The film has a great climax involving Kong and a battle with a huge skull crawler, which he also manages to save Weaver, in a scene almost a homage to the 33 Kong and Fay Wray.
We would also say the 3-D is also worth the admission for this film, whilst it does not have things flying towards you, it does give a real sense of height and depth to the film.
Clearly, the studio has high hopes for this to start a Monsterverse which will include Godzilla, and this is referenced in a scene at the very end of the credits! Given the new Godzilla film is coming from director Michael Dougherty who made Trick R Treat and Krampus which we love, we can’t wait but Kong: Skull Island certainly helped with the wait =)
We absolutely loved this film but we feel you do need to like this no-brainer B-movie creature feature B-Movies to feel the same way
Watch the trailer at the film website here:
Buy the film from Amazon here:
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