Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Every few years since 1933, King Kong has been stomping around on our cinema screens, last seen 12 years ago when Peter Jackson took a shot at giving the ape another shot at the limelight, since then however cinema has changed, Marvel came along and the interlocking cinema-verse has become all the rage, be it the Avengers, Justice League or even Star Wars, every studio is looking for the next big conveyor belt of cinematic hits, so it was only a matter of time before the mosterverse became a thing.
Godzilla came first and now it’s time for Kong to get a reboot which will eventually lead to an interlocking monster movie universe, obviously, this required some tweaking to the original, gone is the story of a filmmaker and blond actress capturing Kong and taking him back to the US, replaced this time by a much larger creature who when fully grown would be much more equipped to take on the 350ft Godzilla in a few films time.
Set during the last months of the Vietnam war, William Randa (John Goodman) heads up the secretive government agency Monarch, whose sole purpose it is to find and catalogue all the giant creatures that live unnoticed around the planet. Skull Island is his last spin of the dice in his hunt and along with a former SAS captain come to tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), an anti-war photojournalist Mason Weaver and a rag-tag group of US soldiers led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), he sets off to find out just what has eluded the world up till now.
The first thing you notice about the film is just how good it looks, the cinematography is not only stunning but also sets the perfect tone for the type of film it wants to be, moving away from the darker tone of Godzilla and instead aiming for a much more light-hearted feel, sure there are dark moments, but for the most part this is the perfect popcorn action flick.
The cast of the film seems to enjoy themselves in their parts, but it is Jackson, whose loss of purpose due to the end of the war and eventual slide into madness is played extremely well, eventually leading to one of the more entertaining fight scenes in the 3rd act of the movie
The only real downsides to the film were the lack of development of some secondary characters, meaning that their deaths didn’t hit home in the way you would have hoped and also some 2nd act seemed to only to be in the film so that they could squeeze in as many songs of the ’70s as possible.
All things considered, overall the film is an enthralling action flick, filled start to finish with stunning shots, entertaining action sequences and good acting, perfect if you wish to escape the dullness of everyday life, it will be interesting to see what they do next to expand on this film and just how it is that they end up getting the two big boys of the creature feature genre to fight
Kong: Skull Island is available now on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD.