Kong: Skull Island User Review

  • lucasisking
    Gorilla Warfare
    Review of Kong: Skull Island Movie by lucasisking, Mar 10, 2017.

    Exactly what was promised in the oh-so-revealing trailers (avoid them like the plague), Skull Island is an unabashed monster-fight movie and cinematic rollercoaster; no more, no less. In that respect Skull Island aims much lower than Peter Jackson's emotive yet flabby 2005 King Kong; yet it also hits the thrill target more often. After a brief scene-setter in 1944 we are introduced to the characters in a rather tedious first 20 minutes, however almost immediately after reaching the titular Island we are introduced to the legendary Kong and our first (spectacular) action set piece. After that, its a case of waiting for the next one to come along; as frankly there ain't much else on offer...

    Characterisation ranges from bland to non-existent, with a few honourable exceptions and the heavyweight presence of Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman and John C Reilly. Tom Hiddleston looks every bit the SAS-trained hunk, but his character is little more than human wallpaper; he never gets to do anything and doesn't even attempt to change up his luvvie accent. Brie Larson looks scrumptious in her Lara Croft fatigues as an anti-war photographer (who takes no photos) but is saddled with Kong-mollifying duties and some quite naff lines. The 'Nam guys fare better and provide the odd laugh, but lets face it, its the creatures we're here to see and the writers clearly know it.

    Kong himself is a brutish force of nature, massively scaled up from his PJ incarnation (although he still needs to gain a few pounds before tangling with 'Zilla); his various adversaries and a menagerie of other exotic fauna are imaginatively realised; and the Island itself is eerily beautiful allowing for some stunning cinematography especially during the set piece engagements; the best of which include a Helicopter assault, a ferocious encounter with a reptilian Skull Crawler, and a final battle between Kong and said Skull Crawler's bigger, meaner brother. With the help of lens man Larry Fong, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts brings a real sense of scale and beauty to the battles that recalls the impressive work of Gareth Edward's Godzilla. Like Peter Jacksons Kong versus V-Rex fight and biplane attack; but on steroids. That is how Pacific Rim should have looked.

    After the dust settles we are supposed to care about the fate of the survivors (we don't) however post credits we get some obligatory world building to tease where we are naturally headed: Godzilla awaits...


    • Spectacular battles
    • Well rendered CGI and interesting creature design
    • Some fun supporting characters
    • Impressive scale and cinematography
    • Fun worldbuilding


    • Bland main characters
    • Daft character motivations and plot
    • Eye-rolling script
    • Insubstantial and lacking in heart
    • Only worth watching for the spectacle


    No comments have been posted on this review yet.
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