Kong Skull Island
Kong: Skull Island – A Popcorn Entertainer That Lacks Depth
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
As the Blockbuster culture would have it, decades after the original King Kong released in 1933, Kong is rebooted for the third time in Kong: Skull Island. Even though it brings out its blazing guns and packs the film with monster versus monster action sequences, it lacks the depth to move you, and its predictability fails in surprising you.
Set in 1973, a team of American soldiers and scientists led by Bill Randa (John Goodman) set out to explore an uninvestigated island. Colonel Packard (Samuel L Jackson) heads the team of soldiers, and Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) is the professional tracker hired to help them navigate through the mysterious island. As with any Kong reboot, this one too has an empathetic lady, Mason (Brie Larson) who accompanies the team as an anti-war photographer.
Soon after the team arrives in Skull Island, they come face to face with a seemingly inhumane monstrous ape that sets out to destroy them. Their mission to destroy Kong takes a turn for the worse when they meet with the real cold-blooded enemy. The plot is borrowed from the 1933’s original barring a few technical developments in the visual story-telling.
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts puts on quite a spectacle to enthrall you. As you would expect Kong is on a rampage. He is invincible, and his takedown of the enemy is entertaining even though it’s predictable. The problem with this script is the character build-up. The director takes the liberty to refrain from diving deep into the central character because the core of the plot is a reboot. But due to the shallow character sketches you don’t buy their decisions or get immersed in their actions. Also, the film’s constant references to Apocalypse Now make it an overkill and only takes away from its credibility.
But if all you’re looking for is a popcorn entertainer, this one puts on a fulfilling show and takes you through two hours of action-packed mayhem where you can rest assured that the good guys always win.
A few minutes into the film, Hank Marlow (John C Reilly) makes an appearance as a World War 2 veteran who gets stranded on the island for twenty-eight years. Pretty soon, he easily becomes one of the most amusing and fascinating characters in the film. Even though Brie Larson is one of the better actresses to have played the part of Kong’s lady in distress, her empathy towards Kong is on the surface. It lacks the depth to have you route for her. Samuel L Jackson brings eccentricity to Colonel Packard’s characters and delivers a convincing performance. Tom Hiddleston’s acting falls flat, and the downplaying in certain scenes is disappointing.
The creature design and CGI in the film were spectacular. The fact that their team has retained some of Kong’s personality from the original brings about a feeling of nostalgia. Henry Jackman’s Psychedelic guitar plays out in the background and succeeds in establishing the 1970’s era.
Overall Kong: Skull Island is passable as a popcorn entertainer but lacks depth in its character build-up. It is worth a one time watch for its monster versus monster action sequences.