Kong Skull Island Review: Everything You Want
Directed By:Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Staring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly
Writers: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 120 Minutes
Synopsis: A team of explorers and soldiers travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific, unaware that they are crossing into the domain of monsters, including the mythic Kong.
Kong is the Destroyer We Want
Going into Kong: Skull Island, we all just want a big badass gorilla to destroy things and be unstoppable….and that what we got. Unlike Godzilla (2014) where we barely saw him, and the film focused on the humans, WB learned their lesson and put a ton a focus on Kong and the other creatures on Skull Island. This bone chilling thriller, takes place in the early 1970’s towards the end of the Vietnam War where Bill Randa (John Goodman) and Houston Brooks (Cory Hawkins) make a proposal to a senator to get funding to explore this previously unknown island. After getting approval they request a military escort led by Captain Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) to accompany them on the trip. They also recruited a tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and a war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson). This group embarks on one final mission to the mysterious Skull Island where they encounter creators and beast that were unknown to man. While on the Island the team losses some of the group, but they develop camaraderie and find out the truth about Kong.
The CGI in this film specifically on Kong and the other monsters were amazing. They took a $190 million budget and put it to work. They details of the island, the creatures, and the violence were top notch and kept you engaged in the film. The knock against Godzilla was to much focus on the people and not enough Godzilla, in this film Kong is featured prominently and you see him within the first 5 mins of the film and many more times throughout. You get character moments throughout the film, however the ultimate takeaway from this film is Kong is the Man. The film also addressed some of the problematic nature behind the King Kong mythos and brought a modern tough to such a cult classic.
There were two interesting undertones to this film that had deeper meaning than a giant gorilla killing stuff. The first being the impact of war on you psyche. Capt Packard was clearly trying to find meaning in this war he was fighting and throughout the film he leads on to the trauma it has caused him, and created this constant solider mentality even when it to his detriment. Samuel L. Jackson was able to show the dark side of war and why it so important to have purpose outside of fighting. The second lesson is something that is being portrayed in media more and more these days, and that is that humans are terrible. We destroy the world for fun a games, we engage in wars for no reason, we feel that we have a God given right to everything on the planet and this movie smacks that right in the face and show that we may not be the ultimate being on the planet. That we need to respect the environment and some things are better left undeveloped.