When the news first broke that they were going to make a new King Kong movie and they were going to reboot the franchise my first thoughts were, “Great. Hollywood is really out of ideas, aren’t they? How could this be any good?” After watching Kong: Skull Island, I have some crow to eat. Kong: Skull Island is not your dad’s or granddad’s King Kong story. There is no film crew going to make a movie then try to capture King Kong. In Kong: Skull Island, the film takes place during the closing days of the Vietnam War and follows a team of researchers and members of the army going to Skull Island to try to research and explore the island. When the team of Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson and others first arrive at the island they met Kong right away and the team is then forced to survive long enough and try to escape the island. All of the actors gave good performances in this movie; it’s just that some of the performances were better and more memorable than others. I liked Samuel L. Jackson’s character, a US Army Lieutenant Colonel who develops and a nice Captain Ahab/Heart of Darkness character arc during the film. After his first encounter with Kong, Jackson’s goal is to show Kong that man is the true king of the jungle. I also liked Brie Larson as the female lead in this movie. She plays a war photojournalist who is brought along to capture the story of the exploration of Skull Island and unlike other female leads in King Kong’s film history, she is not there to be the beauty to King Kong’s beast. She is her own character and not there to woo or tame the beast. But my favorite performance in Skull Island belongs to John C. Reilly, who really is the heart and soul of this movie. Reilly plays a World War 2 pilot who was shot down over Skull Island during the war and has survived on the island since. When Reilly tells a joke, it lands. When Reilly gives exposition, you are intrigued. When Reilly waxes poetic and reflects, you are moved. I’m not saying John C. Reilly should win an Oscar for this film but I am saying that when he is on screen, he is easily one of the best parts of the film and helps keeps things moving. Now let’s get the titular character in Kong himself and wow, Kong looks amazing in this film. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, in only his second movie, crafted a showpiece of CGI wonder. Kong and the other creatures look marvelous at times. If your main complaint about the 2014 Godzilla film was there wasn’t enough Godzilla or monster fights, Kong: Skull Island will wet your whistle. The monster fights are well-choreographed and have the right blends of excitement and savagery. We even see Kong five minutes into the film. Some of the best parts of Kong are just him interacting with the environment. Walking around in the lake or climbing the mountains or sitting and enjoying an aurora borealis. In Skull Island they do a masterful job and letting you sit and enjoy the scale and wonder of what it would be like to see these creatures in the real world. There are only a few things that bring the film down. There are some pacing issues. The first act is rushing so they can get you to the island. All the characters are just walking or walking and talking giving exposition, just rushing the audience along so we get to the island. During the second and third acts, after a great monster fight, there will be a pause, a low point with no action and nothing really going on in the film. Also, there are some characters that really just don’t add to the movie. I’m looking at you, Tom Hiddleston. Ok, I’m always looking at Tom, but his character really doesn’t add to this movie. Tom is just captain amazing, who can do no wrong and is pretty to look at. And I’m also looking at you Toby Kebbell. Toby, you did a great job doing the mo-cap for Kong but your human character is just a bland performance. I think Toby is slowly becoming the poor man’s Andy Serkis. Kong: Skull Island is a Snickers bar, a king-sized Snickers bar. It is a very satisfying genre film blockbuster that will hold you over until the main course of summer blockbusters comes out. You will enjoy Skull Island and more of the universe that the studio is trying to create. There is a post credit scene that helps set that up. Kong: Skull Island breaks away from the original King Kong story with a fresh new take on the classic story and helps create a new cinematic universe. Advance Review: Kong: Skull Island (2017)Eric's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.