Kong: Skull Island – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Kong: Skull Island – 3/5 – Monster movies are what they are.  In that aspect, you have an expectation of over-the-top fights mixed with copious amounts of destruction.  For all that can be found in the slugfest of fictional creatures, it still needs to provide a cohesive story worth watching on the big screen.  Kong: Skull Island provides some arousing moments, but does not hit you hard as a complete package.  For all the flaws that amount; it is a film that you can still find get some enjoyment watching at the theaters.

Premise:  A team of Scientist venture to an unknown island in the Pacific, not knowing what to expect.  With the surreal colliding with reality; will they survive long enough to escape this primal world.

The human cast is ‘whose who’ of actors/actresses from the industry.  The film consists of big names such as: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman and many others (you can reference at the IMDb page).  From the main to the secondary character, they all do a serviceable job with their roles in the film.  To say serviceable helps put the ‘written’ characters just above cliché archetypes.  There is nothing that makes them truly standout within the situations and settings the film puts them into.  They eventually (even if they try their best not to) become the typical ‘pawns’ in a cat and mouse game of survival.  No matter who the camera focuses on, you are shown enough character dynamic for an emotive response that is related to exposition about Kong or Skull Island.  You do have your typical comedic banter and ‘serious’ dramatic monologues, but nothing that truly stands out.  Given the fact the film focuses mostly on driving home the action and monster aspect, you can let some of the cheesy and awful dialogue slip from your mind.  For the CGI character of Kong, it is something that is so much more than you expect to see on the big screen.  From his first encounter with humans to his interactions with other monsters, you can see his true value and purpose to the island.  For how boring the human cast can be, Kong provides that even layer to make the film watchable.

The direction is very straightforward in providing a very typical ‘Monster’ flick.  With no real intent to drive anything related to story progression, you get the basic setup of:

Main characters > there purpose to the story > cliché ‘plot point’ trigger > move them to the predictable ‘worst case’ scenario

Once we head towards Skull Island, the film moves from ‘setup mode’ to full on spectacle.  It does not play the ‘hide and seek’ game with the CGI creatures and gives you a full head on collision with Kong.  As the chaos ensues, it pulls you through visual appeal and background immersion.  Using the spectacle to setup all the moments and future elements is nothing new, but here, it helps provide something worth gravitating to for the audience.  After the first encounter with Kong, the film separates the human cast so that it can flesh out the ‘mythology’ that involves everything on Skull Island.  Through some comic relief and forced exposition, you are given some layers to what makes this world truly terrifying and why Kong is important.  The film slows down quite a bit, but never goes off the deep end into tedium.  Once the ‘A to B’ scenario brings all the human characters together, you are drawn into a typical action ‘roller coaster’ ride.  From the chaotic situations, untimely deaths and the ‘battle royale’ style of fighting between Kong and other monsters, the adrenaline stoked by earlier encounters hits a new high.  There is no purpose beyond what Is the visual ‘eye candy’, as you watch Kong duke it out between other humans and monsters.  Even if the film has no intention to provide a cohesive story, it does enough in the action to provide a fun experience.  Once you get past the ultimate climax, you are lead into the common ambiguous ending.  Even if the film feels a little uneven, it provides enough window that there is something better to come.

The visuals are deeply invoking.  From the colorful hues to the sweeping textures that encapsulate Skull Island, you are truly pulled into this world.  From the mountains and forests, to the grasslands and smoking death fields, you feel the power and purpose of each setting.  You have a subtle terrifying feel (like the characters), knowing they feel like they shouldn’t belong.  Beyond the world itself are the creatures.  No matter which monster is on screen, they all live and breathe like real creatures.  The stand out is Kong.  From his size to his emotional reactions, you feel his power through every fiber of his body.  The score is a mixed back of ‘retro’ soundtracks to the pulse pounding orchestras.  No matter how they are used, they help provide a feeling towards the era the film takes place in.

Kong: Skull Island might not be the most amazing thing on the big screen, but there is enough fun for an average experience.  If you like monster movies I say check it out.  It is worth seeing at a matinee but not at full price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *