Kong: Skull Island

"Excellent"

Kong: Skull Island Review


After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise, continuing with this King Kong prequel. It's a ripping adventure, cleverly directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) to resemble a snarky Apocalypse Now remake with added gigantic beasts. And the eclectic cast makes sure that there's plenty of comedy, villainy and heroics to draw the audience in.

It's 1973, and Bill (John Goodman) is taking a pair of scientists (Corey Hawkins and Jing Tian) to an uncharted island to verify reports of prehistoric creatures before the Russians can get there first. En route, they stop in Vietnam to collect a mercenary adventurer (Tom Hiddleston), a photojournalist (Brie Larson) and a helicopter squadron led by Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). But their noisy arrival on the island enrages towering monkey Kong (mo-capped by Terry Notary and Toby Kebbell, who also plays a member of the team). With their choppers grounded, the main job now is to get out of here alive. And after discovering a castaway WWII pilot (John C. Reilly), they learn that Kong is actually protecting the world from far scarier monsters.

The story is told with a blast of dry humour, weaving in lots of sharp banter along with a collection of iconic 70s rock anthems. This gung-ho approach makes the movie energetically good fun, obscuring the fact that it's not particularly deep or meaningful. There are big themes gurgling away under the surface (such as the way blind militaristic action unearths dangers far worse than the perceived enemy), but these things remain subliminal, only barely visible amid the fast-paced action and big effects mayhem. That it all leads to some heavily animated monster-vs-monster destruction is hardly surprising. But when a movie is this light on its feet and so cheerfully frenetic, the audience is really only interested in hanging on for the ride.

The actors have a great time with all of this. Hiddleston and Larson are almost worryingly fit, beautiful and feisty, charging into the fray in designer khaki and impeccably smudged faces. They're also very likeable, as is the sprawling supporting cast. Even Jackson has some fun as the blunt commander who simply won't believe that Kong might be on their side. And Reilly adds some well-timed comical relief. All of which makes this film a rollicking romp. And if you stick around to the end of the credits, you'll see that it's also been carefully designed to set up the next Godzilla movie.

Watch the trailer for Kong: Skull Island:



Kong: Skull Island

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 120 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th March 2017

Budget: $190M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Producer: Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull

Starring: as Captain James Conrad, as Mason Weaver, Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Colonel Packard, as Maj. Chapman, as Bill Randa, Eugene Cordero as San

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