Thanks to Roadshow Films we had the chance to see Kong: Skull Island before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Kong: Skull Island is set at the end of the Vietnam war with US troops about to return home. A small battalion led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) gets assigned one final mission: escort a team of scientists from a secret government division to explore a mysterious island. The group is joined by expert explorer James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson).
What was supposed to be a regular mission becomes a fight for survival when they discover that in the island is populated by real monsters, and the giant ape who rules it is not the enemy they should be worrying about.
Expectations were high for this official kick-off of the cinematic monsterverse, with the King of Apes doing the honours alongside an all-star cast including Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly among others. Sadly, and despite a strong build-up during the first 30 minutes, the film descends into a poor schtick of forced, unnecessary jokes and over-the-top digital effects.
The cast generally goes to waste with a mostly-decorative Tom Hiddleston and scenery-chewing Samuel L. Jackson going full “Snakes on a Plane” (which actually is a good thing for the wrong reasons) during the second half.
Thankfully the star of the film, Kong, shines in every scene and still charms despite not looking quite as convincing as the 2005 Peter Jackson/Andy Serkis version – especially during the fight scenes. In addition, Brie Larson subverts stereotypes by not being the typical damsel in distress. On the contrary, she is perhaps the best member of the cast alongside a wonderfully crazed John C. Reilly.
Overall, Kong: Skull Island is a fun but extremely silly ride chock-full of CGI. The film is far from the quality demonstrated by Gareth Edwards‘ “Godzilla” or some of the previous incarnations of King Kong. At some points, it actually feels like a Michael Bay film with unfunny US military grunts and gratuitous explosions. Luckily there’s a giant ape to steal the show and save the film from total fiasco status…come on, Hollywood!
Kong: Skull Island is now showing
Note: stay ’til the end of the credits, it’s worth it!