Kong: Skull Island – Review

Woooooooooow I know I’m late to the party again… but talk about a monster movie. I got vibes of Godzilla with a serious sweet tooth for the kill cam. It was insane how much they put into this movie. Between the huge cast and monster scenes, I’m not sure how they had time to find a plot! Below I break down this entertaining CGI slugfest in all its glory:

Positives

  • Entertainment – It was fun to watch. But that is about it. I enjoyed the battling back and forth and everything that was going on throughout the movie. If there wasn’t a big fight or clash, the crazy big cast was setting up the next fight. Obviously some were better than others, but through all of it I never found a dull moment to really relax. So much going on the entire time that eventually drowned me in constant monster clashes.
  • Cast – A positive and negative for me. It’s a positive because they had some great actors leading the way, with some solid B-list actors supporting them. So many to work off of and they somehow carried the plot forward (that you almost forget about during the monster battles). Brie Larson, Tom H., Sam Jackson, etc. really did a nice job making the movie feel less ridiculous, even though it still ended as such.
  • Kong & Monsters – I think he was done well. Lots of cinematic shots to make him seem like the badass god of the island that he is. The monsters of the island were done great as well. Random ones such as the squid or big water buffalo (which were simply there to show of the CGI graphics and didn’t serve the plot) all the way to the skull lizard monsters, were done well and entertained me. Kong looked outstanding and his fight scenes were epic. Glued everyone’s eyes to the screen when he was there. He also had the best kills of the movie (Skull monster & Samuel L. Jackson!)
  • The killing/deaths – Seriously underrated in this movie. There was A TON of killing in this and it was done in every way imaginable. Some seriously gruesome kills that had me laughing in fun almost took me away form the seriousness of the fighting, but the acting seemed to somehow bring it back. The monster kills or monsters killing humans all were glorious and added another element to the growing danger of the island.
  • Battles – Best part of the movie. There was constant action. Every time it slowed a bit down it was to set up the plot and establish another location were shit was about to go down. This carried the movie and was the main focus for me. It’s a monster royale movie about the king of the island, who grows to become everyone’s favorite character. Who doesn’t like to see monsters face off?? Any movie with half a brain and human audience will get points for this.
  • Time Period – During the Cold War. Lasting effects from John C. Reilly’s character from the World War added a nice touch.

Negatives

  • Cast Size – It was fun seeing so many big names on the screen at once, but they didn’t all get their earned time. They couldn’t stay on screen long enough to develop and make the plot more serious/important.
  • Plot – Didn’t get focus it deserved. With such a big cast it had to be tough to come up with so many realistic reasons why people should go to the island. Could’ve been so much better with these A-list actors but eventually fell into a watered down, action packed monster movie!
  • Sam Jackson Stare – WAYYYYYY too many of these. Close ups to his eyes were so unnecessary and made me laugh. We get it… he’s a huge star and you paid him a ton. His crusade to hunt Kong didn’t seem realistically driven and the stare downs were ridiculous. His death was funny as hell, though.
  • Humans – Simply staring at the monsters and left in awe. Couldn’t contribute to battles or help save themselves from the big fights. They truly only served as distractions or funny deaths.
  • Island People/Community – Random as shit. They don’t talk? Really felt misplaced and a loose attempt to add another weird element to the island. John C. Reilly somehow survived there for years and no one ever spoke? Very odd and felt misplaced. Kong clearly could blow through the wall. I get they established the premise that Kong is God to them and King of the island, but it still didn’t make sense how they didn’t help or speak.
  • Certain Conversations – Seemed pushed. Like I said earlier, the actors moved the plot forward but it was clearly forced through the writing. Some actors didn’t have chemistry and their conversations weren’t organic. I know they were rushed and needed to get to the action to show Kong’s power, but it was no excuse to waste some of the great cast members they had.
  • Kong Development – Nothing came out of it. He didn’t do anything different. He protects the land and helped Brie because she’s the woman in trouble (classic Kong move). Outside of that, he is one dimensional. Runs the place and keeps the skull monsters at bay until humans wake them. Doesn’t do anything different and has no real connection to the story outside of humans trying to fuck with his island he protects. Maybe it’s just me, but King Kong is worth more than that. He deserves a better story and more developed personal story/interactions.

 

Overall, it does its job as a monster movie. I was entertained but not sure if I’d recommend it over most movies out now. Fun to watch all the fightin and gory killing, but doesn’t hold up as a rewatchable movie due to its lack of significant plot. I see way more potential here and it seems they closed all doors to another movie with the cast. Left no doors unopened and no dimensions people will want to dive deeper in to.

 

Monster Movie: 8/10

Overall Score 6/10

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