|Directed by:||Jordan Vogt-Roberts|
|Written by:||John Gatins|
|Cast:||Tom Hiddleston, John Ortiz, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell|
|Studio:||Legendary, Universal Pictures|
|Genre:||Action, Adventure, Fantasy|
So, Kong: Skull Island. Firstly I was nervous this movie might bomb at the box office with such a massive budget and an in your face, highly stylized marketing campaign. Those fears were put to rest a little when my 5:30pm showing was basically sold out and P A C K E D into a massive theater. Kong lives and so does the new Monsterverse? Maybe. Hopefully. If this movie was any indication it will..
I had a surprisingly good time with this flick. It was a little goofy with some rough editing in places, some cheeseball lines and I can't remember a single person's name but this movie knew exactly what it's bread and butter was. Skull Island. I think I'd give the edge to Jackson's Kong overall but I much prefer this version of the lost island. A place where the monsters are merely animals existing in a habitat that was never influenced by mankind. Most of the creature designs were OUT OF THIS WORLD and it was basically everything I've ever dreamt about and drawn over and over again as a kid. The spider in particular was one of the gnarliest and most creative ideas I've seen from a flick like this in a while. My only drawback were the skullcrawlers - that design didn't work for me at all (probably the lack of eyes?).
The cast for the most part was good with Reily surprisingly stealing the show alongside Corey Hawkins who was probably my favorite character. The big 3 essentially play themselves which is fine - and my boy Toby Kebbell was great but inexplicably loses screen time in an instant. I didn't feel much closure with that to be honest. Look, there's a lot of really good actors here but they either have nothing to work with or have so little that no real emotional moment feels earned. And that would be fine but there's a bit too many of those moments for a cast of half assed human characters. There's one during the credits and even with a character writing to his kid that just comes off as a little ridiculous when you hardly know anyone or care about them. It's weird because we kept saying over and over again that Godzilla suffered with its lack of human characters so Kong goes out and rounds up a hell of a cast only to hand them cutouts. Still, I'd take what we got here over the Ambien pills in Godzilla. They're all fine!
But you don't go see a King Kong movie to see Tom Hiddleston carving up giant reptile birds with a samurai sword (wait what the fuck?) - you go to a King Kong movie to see King fucking Kong. And in my opinion this is the best Kong ever. I'm obsessed with his design and love that they went back to the roots of a genuine movie monster. I didn't really care for the lifelike gorilla physique we got in 05' so to see this one mix bits of the original along with Kaiju elements was fantastic. It also helps draw him into the Godzilla universe even more. I couldn't get enough of him on screen - and not even the action scenes. ANY MOMENT was wonderful. The effects were so good that I truly believed he was there. When he's sitting in a river nursing his wounds while drinking massive handfuls of water it looks and feels real. Which leads me to my favorite thing about this flick..
THE CREATURES MOVE RELATIVE TO THEIR SIZE! FINALLY! A MASSIVE, SKYSCRAPER SIZED CREATURE LUMBERS INSTEAD OF MOVING AT MATRIX LEVEL SPEEDS. That does wonders to the authenticity of what's on screen. It helps your brain get lost in the film and believe what's on screen is really there you know? Jurassic Park did this perfectly and ever since then we've had some shit jobs with this (though some good ones like Godzilla and Pacific Rim).
Ok wow, I didn't realize how long this would be. Holy shit. Look - this flick is exactly what the trailers promised. It's fun as fuck, adventurous, goofy and full of 70's hit after 70's hit. It literally takes a Suicide Squad approach to that but it works much better in the fact that half the time it's playing in the scene and not just used as transitional music. It's a lot of fun and entertaining as all hell, and it even got me super interested in a new Monsterverse
This is the movie Jurassic World wanted to be.