Thursday, 23 March 2017

Kong: Skull Island (2017) - Film Review

Review:

Kong: Skull Island is a stupid film. There's no way round that. It's stupid. It's also about an island that contains a giant monkey and dinosaur like creatures, so I guess I expected it to be stupid? As the second entry in Warner Brothers "Monsters" universe, it's tonally miles away from 2014's Godzilla (Which I loved), a much darker, humorless film, but was still great and I preferred it to this.

Kong is a character that hasn't been on screen since Peter Jackson's film 12 years ago, as far as I know. Skull Island is a welcome return for the King of the Apes. In a vibrant, beautifully shot and overall, fun film that throws all logic out the window.

Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson
My only real complaint is the lack of character. Despite the cast of John Goodman, Samuel L Jackson, Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston, every character is pretty much a non-entity. I could not remember the name of a single one of them. Who does steal the show at least, is John C Reilly, as an inhabitant of the island for nearly 30 years. He's the only character with any real characterisation and an arc. So much so, that the end credits even wrap up his story. Which was weird in all honestly.

What you really care about is King Kong though, and he was spectacular. He's also the biggest incarnation of him we've ever recieved. Which is for the best considering this is the version we'll be having fight Godzilla in 2020.

Kong isn't the only creature though. Skull Island is resident to a variety of really varied and terrifying monsters. Each unique looking and quite creative. My favourite being a giant spider with bamboo for legs. I was a little disappointed we never got any actual dinosaurs like a T-rex or anything, but what we got was interesting enough.

Kong himself in all his glory
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts previous film is only a small indie film called The Kings of Summer. It must have been weird jumping from that to such a huge-budget blockbuster like Kong: Skull Island. He did a great job directing the action. There's a huge variety of gorgeous visuals in this vibrant, beautiful looking film. Being set in the 1970's we also get some very strange Vietnam imagery, which I wasn't sure how to react to.

Henry Jackman also provided an excellent score which reminded me of classic monster movies. On top of that there's a lot of great use of 60's rock music including David Bowie. Which I loved.

The main thing that put me off from the trailers was the humour. In all honesty, it's hit-and-miss, but when it does hit, it's extremely funny. John C Reilly being the standout. The humour is sometimes tonally at odds with the nature of the film. It jumps from some really grizzly and surprisingly violent scenes to a gag, which was more jarring than funny. That's where the jokes fell flat for me mostly.

Kong: Skull Island might not have the best characters, but it makes up for it with a gorgeous, fun and exciting film that does its job wonderfully and expands Warner Brothers Monsters Universe in an exciting way. Kong is back, and I'm happy about that.

8/10 Dans

Kong: Skull Island is out now in theaters in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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