March 25, 2017
Kong: Skull Island.
Review #919: Kong: Skull Island.
Tom Hiddleston (James Conrad), Samuel L. Jackson (Preston Packard), John Goodman (Bill Randa), Brie Larson (Mason Weaver), John C. Reilly (Hank Marlow), Corey Hawkins (Houston Brooks), John Ortiz (Victor Nieves), Tian Jing (San Lin), Toby Kebbell (Jack Chapman), John Ortiz (Victor Nieves), Corey Hawkins (Houston Brooks), Jason Mitchell (Glenn Mills), Shea Whigham (Earl Cole), Thomas Mann (Reg Slivko), and Terry Notary (King Kong, motion capture performance) Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
It's easy to admit that the idea of doing a Kong reboot could be regarded as unneeded, if put in the wrong hands. Having the film be set in 1973 (one could almost nickname the movie "VietKong", actually) is certainly an interesting choice. For me, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and everything that it wanted to be: a fun good time. It's easy to admit that this is a popcorn movie, with a great amount of entertainment and characters that would be right at home in a explorer movie. For me, this might've been just a bit better than the 2014 Godzilla film (#582), as this film definitely lets one see more of Kong - right from the beginning, in fact. Obviously there is more to the movie than just Kong (with some fine CGI and some fine motion capture from Notary), there's also the fine effects of the Skullcrawlers and enough eye-candy (with regards to how the movie is shot) and cinematography that I appreciated. There isn't any kind of cop-outs nor teasing, it flat out goes for the thrill and chills - and it succeeds. Hiddleston is a fair enough lead, but obviously the big standout is Jackson, who just hams it up in such an adversarial manner that just clicks. Larson is also a fair lead as well, with Goodman being as gruff and relatable as ever. Reilly is also pretty fun, having an eccentric but likable presence. The rest of the cast does a fine job, being useful enough. Honestly the best kind of lead are leads who act and move convincingly without just being screamers/stilted glory hogs. They aren't too developed, but they also aren't too one dimensional either. There is a good mode of pace and design, with monster fights that manage to be riveting. Obviously this is a movie that works as fun entertainment (and something to try and get one ready for a Godzilla/Kong matchup a few years down the line), and there's nothing wrong with that. It achieves what it wants to accomplish without derailing itself at any point, while letting Kong be Kong.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.