Kong: Skull Island is crazy, but not a classic
The most recent iteration of the Kong franchise is a very difficult movie to review.
Kong: Skull Island opens with monster-hunter Bill Randa (John Goodman) securing a government contract to journey to Skull Island and destroy a mysterious monster.
Under the pretense of science, Randa brings along a biologist, geologist and photographer (Brie Larson).
In case things go south, the group is accompanied by Lt. Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), his military squad, and British Special Forces Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston).
The newest film in the King Kong franchise debuted with a solid $61 million box office result. But if you’re looking for a quality cinematic classic, you’d better search elsewhere.
Skull Island’s nightmarish script will have you smacking your forehead in shame and hunkering down in your seat, feeling pity for the writers and whatever inspired them to create this monstrosity (and I don’t mean Kong).
One would hope esteemed actors Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, and Brie Larson would make the most of their poorly written lines.
Again, we are disappointed and find we have no true emotional connection to any characters and couldn’t care less if they were squashed beneath the foot of the colossal gorilla.
As for the plot, we are strongly reminded of James Cameron’s Avatar.
A ragtag group of scientists, expendable military men, and a photographer go to a remote jungle habitat “for science.”
They battle monsters, only for the small group to develop sentiment for the beasts and defend them from the gone-rogue military crew. Been there, done that.
Not only is the plot unoriginal, it holds an astonishing number of painfully obvious plot discontinuities.
You find yourself wondering if the producers actually watched the final product.
On the plus side, Skull Island does a great job changing the history of Kong.
In the 1933, 1976 and even 2005 King Kong films, the racist undertones are central to the movie.
In these early pictures, Kong represents the black man as a taker of white women and a threat to society.
In Skull Island, by casting Samuel L. Jackson as Kong’s enemy, Legendary Entertainment seems to be attempting to take a stand against the message of the previous films.
Kong: Skull Island is the least accessible of the Kong films and features disturbing and graphic violence causing me to question if the line between PG-13 and R has become a little blurred.
All in all, I encourage you to see Kong: Skull Island, but you must know what you are getting into.
If you go into Kong expecting a masterpiece, then shame on you.
Kong is exactly what it should be: an absolutely ridiculous creation, featuring jaw-dropping slow motion cinematography, insane monster versus monster battles, and a dry plot with abysmal character development.
I implore you, do not watch this movie with the intention of seeing a great film.
Watch Kong: Skull Island because it’s absurd, epic, and a wonderful continuation of a classic franchise.