Movie Review: ‘Kong: Skull Island’

Kong: Skull Island
© 2017 Warner Bros.

You know Kong: I always saw you as the lovey-dovey romantic type. I could be wrong.

Hello moviegoers. Today I will be taking a look at “Kong: Skull Island” the latest treatment of the legendary giant gorilla who made his debut on the silver screen in 1933 during the depression era.

This time around the film takes place at the end of the Vietnam War. Bill Randa played by John Goodman and a young geologist, Houston Brooks, played by Corey Hawkins of ‘Straight Out of Compton’ fame are a couple of government official from an agency named Monarch, who organize an expedition to the previously uncharted Skull Island under the pretense of seismological research. Randa and Brooks, however, are proponents of the hollow earth theory. That theory being that the earth is hollow, of course, and serves as domicile for the entities that really own the earth – not us. And they are in search for proof.

The rest of the team includes, among others, Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad, a former British Captain who is hired to lead the team on the island – he is in it for the money; Brie Larson, an accomplished antiwar photojournalist, who thinks the government is up to no good and wants to be there to document the goings-on, and Samuel L. Jackson as Lieutenant Packard. He is bummed out over the outcome of the war, but gets a gleam in his eye when he gets a call for one final mission – to the disappointment of the rest of his soldiers.

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The team braves stormy weather to make landfall which leaves them cutoff from the outside world. From there, it isn’t long before the expedition is face to face with the king of Skull Island, himself. The movie quickly becomes a struggle for survival – first from the assault by Kong after the rude intrusion, and then from giant lizard-like creatures called Skullcrawlers that terrorize the natives on the island.

This version of Kong displays greater intelligence and a lack of curiosity about these visitors to his island. You get the sense he is aware of what’s going on. He knows the hierarchy and assumes a custodial posture on Skull Island – which makes a lot of sense to me.

John C. Reilly appears about halfway through the film as Lieutenant Hank Marlow who has been stranded on the island for twenty-eight years after his fighter plane was shot down during World War II. He injects a necessary dose of levity and his obvious curiosity gets the movie to its final act.

There is also a juxtaposition that can be made between the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War and this ill-fated expedition to Skull Island whether the filmmakers intended to do so or not.

Overall ‘Kong’ is an okay movie and I liked it, but other than Samuel L. Jackson’s Lieutenant Packard slipping into derangement and Kong himself, I don’t think the motivation of some of the other main is characters is established well enough. “Kong: Skull Island” gets 3 sweet potatoes out of 5. This has been Moviegoers’ View. Until next time, enjoy the movies.

Kong: Skull Island:           3 sweet potatoes out of
Director:              Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Writers:               Max Borenstein, John Gatins
Actors:                  Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins, John C. Reilly, Thomas Mann, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham
Producers:          Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull
Cinematographer:           Larry Fong
Distributor:        Warner Bros.
Genre:                  Action/Adventure
Rated:                   PG-13 for violence
Run Time:           118 minutes
Opens:                 Friday, March 10, 2017


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