Kong: Skull Island tells the story of a team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.
Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the story of “King Kong,” no matter what spin is put on it. My initial thought when I heard about this film being made was that just over ten years prior, Peter Jackson had attempted in remaking the classic to rave reviews at the time to only now for critics to bite their tongues and hack at Jackson’s 2005 effort. This new effort isn’t bad, but it isn’t fabulous either.
The thought that followed this was that I should go out and support something friends of mine had worked on and that was filmed in my home country of Australia, let alone my home state of Queensland that’s getting a load of recognition recently (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tails; Pacific Rim: Uprising; Thor: Ragnarok; The Shallows; Unbroken; San Andreas; and Fool’s Gold were filmed not even thirty minutes from where my family lives). Good Australian films can be a hard find, so supporting film’s from Australia or international projects filmed there is the least I could do. Right?
On the most part, it was a decent enough decision to go and see the film in the cinema, though another part of me hated myself for it as I fell into a pit of boredom at another action filled blockbuster with a marketing strategy that could’ve funded multiple films in itself. I know I find myself annoyingly repeating myself hear and I do love a good action (Skyfall; Gladiator), adventure (the original Indiana Jones trilogy), science-fiction (the original Star Wars), or fantasy (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) movie, but Kong: Skull Island barely makes a decent effort.
It’s not hard to compare something like Skull Island to 2014′s Godzill in providing what Godzilla shied away from because from the moment we set foot on Skull Island, we’re completely immersed in the world. The visuals were well enough created and provided a believable world.
Instead of being traditionally set in the 1930′s, Kong: Skull Island is transported a few decades later in 1973 where it adequately takes inspiration from Hollywood classic Apocalypse Now (though, there are often times where it’s a bit excessive) and it loves to remind us, the audience, how much technology has progressed.
Kong: Skull Island’s characters are uninterestingly boring and forgettable with nothing to really for us to connect to them. It’s almost as if they’re cardboard cutouts and stereotypes. Either way, we’ve seen them before. Tom HIddleston’s stiff as a wooden board and its like he’s forgotten how to act; Brie Larson fails to remind us why she won an Oscar with a bland enough performance; and a beard toting John C. Reilly is the only one who shows any sign of portraying an interesting character and that was because he added his own touch to his role. In the end, its not even really worth trying to connect to the characters in the first place since there’s nothing really to invest in anyway.
The titular beast itself in King Kong looked well crafted and showing a definite improvement in computer effects, though this is in the overall picture. Some of the smaller details are almost badly distracting but it’s not really something you’ll notice if you’re not paying too much attention.
Kong: Skull Island is barely mediocre at its best times and the humour is can be worseningly painful. It’s a version of the “KIng Kong” story that you may or may not have wanted and nothing but a blockbuster that achieves what it sets out to do: fill seats and rake in the money. And because of this, it should be taken as what it is and nothing more.