Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Movie Review: Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island (2017) - Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts; Written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly; Starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Shea Wigham, Richard Jenkins.

By Kenny Howell

in 2005, Peter Jackson, fresh off his Lord of the Rings success, jumped into the director's chair for the long dormant, but cinematic staple, King Kong.

Despite its unnecessary three hour run time, I loved his take, which thanks to Andy Serkis' performance, really gave an emotional rounding to the giant beast. The adventure was fun, quite crazy at times, and exactly how the series should have been updated for the 21st century.

That is basically the same that Kong: Skull Island is, minus the emotional Kong. Which makes me think, even if this a pretty good time in parts, why do we even need it?

There is a feeling of a disposableness throughout Kong: Skull Island because only 12 years has passed since Jackson's work. It is not drastically different. It moves to a different time period, the 1970s, the "love" story between the beast and whoever the blonde is is pretty much absent. But the adventure aspect is still there, and I am not sure anything here is better than what Jackson created.

John Goodman (Atomic Blonde) plays Bill Randa, a man who convinces the government they need to go explore a newly discovered, possibly intriguing island called Skull Island. They reluctantly agree, so Randa assembles a military team for helicopter transport into the island. They also bring on board a tracker, played by Tom Hiddleston (High-Rise) and a photographer played by Brie Larson (Room).

It doesn't take them long to figure out Skull Island is quite different as Kong makes his appearance as soon as the choppers enter his airspace. He bats them down like flies and sends a lot of the men scattered across the island.

From there, it is endless battles with prehistoric, crazy beasts. That is all fine and well, but the only real bright spot is when John C. Reilly (The Lobster) shows up as a pilot that was shot down over the island in World War II and has been there ever since. He steals more than a few scenes but it doesn't do much to separate itself from what Jackson already set up just a little over a decade ago.

Rating: **

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