Kong: Skull Island

"I have a bone to pick with whoever sent us here"
7/10 - A cheesy but highly entertaining old-fashioned action movie.
Release Date: 
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Written by: 

The famous movie ape King Kong is revived once again for a big-budget action adventure.


The giant ape, who has been seen on screen since 1933, returns to cinemas once more in Kong: Skull Island - a reboot of the film franchise that will give audiences a completely fresh take on the classic monster story.

When most people think of King Kong, they will imagine it climbing up the New York City's Empire State Building, but Kong: Skull Island focuses solely on his origins on Skull Island, an uncharted territory in the South Pacific.

The year is 1973 and Bill Randa (John Goodman), from secretive organisation Monarch, recruits members of the U.S. Army including Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell), as well as SAS tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) to join him on a mission to map the island.

When they arrive at Skull Island, they get more than they bargained for when they come face-to-face Kong, a giant prehistoric ape who kills a lot of their crew, sealing Packard and his soldiers' determination to bring him down.

However, Kong has actually been protecting the island from the real monsters - the underground lurking Skull Crawlers, as the crew don't realise that killing Kong would leave them open to attack from these very dangerous creatures. 

Skull Island is an incredibly cheesy and silly old-fashioned monster movie. It focuses on the story and action, over characterisation and great dialogue, so the actors aren't given much to sink their teeth into, besides looking at the monsters in shock and running away.

But that doesn't mean it's not incredibly entertaining, fun and tense in all the right places.

Audiences will be laughing one moment, then bracing for another monster encounter, some of which are quite gruesome, the next.

The cast are outdone by the animals and the landscape. Hiddleston doesn't convince as an SAS tracker and Jackson is essentially playing the same character he plays in every action movie.

The only real standout was John C. Reilly, who was given the most laughs portraying a soldier who has been on the island since World War II and has gone a bit mad.

Like most of the Kong movies, the ape shows emotion and shares a bond with Brie Larson's character.

This is shown better than ever in this movie thanks to motion capture technology as the CGI is very impressive, especially on the ape and the action sequences. The group encounter many giant monsters, such as big spiders and an octopus, which are welcome and refreshing new additions. However, the Skull Crawlers look weird, are given too much screen time and take far too long to die.

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