Kong is King (Kong: Skull Island review)

I admit, I approached this film with relative trepidation. I knew I wanted to enjoy it, but I was cautious that major blockbusters currently have a habit of not living up to the hype. What a relief it is to say then that I absolutely loved the film. While it has been met with certain criticism for its predictable plot and cliché characters, I thought it was a brave and successful reimagining of the classic Kong story.

Gone is the endless Kong backstory that is often presented to us (I’m looking at you, Peter Jackson). Instead, Kong is with us by the 3rd minute, and his presence is never absent for long. While the main cast are sketches of characters, most with little backstory, I don’t feel it’s important. The bravery of the studio to allow key actors to be killed of throughout the film shows how much they believed in the project. Ultimately, it is a King Kong film, and he is the only character that really matters.

I thought Skull Island was great for a number of reasons. Firstly, the film was a hell of a lot of fun. Jordon Voight-Roberts has perfectly balanced the action and the comedy, with the Vietnam-inspired soundtrack adding to the quirky mood. I was also massively impressed with the CGI, which was some of the best CGI I have ever seen in any film, let alone in the King Kong franchise (again, I’m looking at you Peter Jackson.) Gone were the awkward scenes of Jack Black running away from a heard of dinosaurs; instead we get highly styling and realistic action between Kong and the Skull Crawlers. Even better is that the most of the scenes take place in broad daylight. The animators couldn’t hide in the dark, and instead created scenes where every hair moved realistically and every hit was felt.

I found the film massively entertaining, and if Legendary Entertainment continues this in the rest of their ‘MonsterVerse’, then I shall be very happy indeed.

9 Stars

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