An unconventional Encounter. – Spoiler Free Review
It’s worth noting that I refuse to watch trailers. They annoy me with how much they give away, with far too much plot and integral parts of a film being shown, thus spoiling what could potentially be a good film.
So with that in mind, I went into Kong with a bag full of sweets and excitement at what was about to unfold on the screen. Growing up with the Toho Godzilla Monster Universe, I generally know the classic giant monster movie traits. Man does something stupid and awakens the beast, beast fights man, man realises there is a reason this monster exists, then hopes for the best that they can survive an epic battle with the aforementioned reason.
You’ll be surprised to read that Kong Skull Island is…exactly that.
It doesn’t deviate from the script of the 2014 Godzilla at all, in fact id’ like to do a side-by-side comparison now to see if they are identical scene-for-scene. The movie its self is fairly enjoyable; Kong is Magnificent, and he looks menacing and positively huge. You are introduced to the giant within 5 minutes of taking your seat. This doesn’t help build any suspense but it’s difficult to find the balance of when fans become annoyed that they haven’t seen him by. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, I believe the Hulk Movie in 2003 took 40 minutes to introduce Big Green, so sometimes the suspense wears off and you get bored… but there is no danger of that here.
My take on the film without spoilers: it’s basically lots of well scripted and choreographed mini battles and fight scenes interjected with some witty one liners but also some drab dialogue to pad it out. The cast list is extensive and it really shows. I feel it really detracts from some potentially great characters. Tom Hiddleston as the former SAS solider isn’t given honour of having a back story – had some of the lesser ‘cannon fodder’ characters had less air time, it could have been a great set up for a potential reoccurring character. The same can be said for arguably the coolest man on the planet, Samuel L. Jackson, the Soldier that doesn’t want to return from war. For me, the Star of the show is John C. Reilly. Not just comedy relief, he is golden in that respect, but in fact the most interesting person on the island. Having crashed there 28 years before, he is the man that gives the soldiers the reason as to why Kong exists and indeed why he needs to be allowed to continue to exist. The Vietnam factor thrown in gives the typical US slant on a war movie, America GOOD, other countries BAD. Again the sloppy dialogue simply gives you, “If we don’t find this Island, Russia will” But it depicts a troop of knuckle draggers happy to run around shooting everything insight not daring to question the logic of the situation. This could be completely accurate, I’ve no idea, I’ve never been to war.
Over all, the film flows quite well. It’s certainly action packed but with a hugely underwhelming final battle, this film simply feels a little like a set up for the next Godzilla film slated for 2019. (Hang around for the entire length of the credits for a post credit scene, be warned they are long). There are far too many people in the movie to form any kind of connection to any of them and (minor spoiler, some people will die) a feeling genuine apathy when you realise some people won’t be on the boat home.
It’s not Shakespeare, Its giant monsters fighting, so I didn’t expect it Hamlet. I did expect more than a prelude though, which on reflection this movie feels like.
Film Review by Micheal Prime.
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