Kong Skull Island is the latest rendition of the famous King Kong story. Let me preface this by saying when it comes to Kong I am a purist for the original 1933 movie which still holds up with the best today. I’ve seen it a gazillion times on TV since I was a little kid and in the movies when they re-released it with added parts, read books on the making of it, gave a lecture once on it at my local library and have it on VHS and DVD. I’ve even seen all the remakes which I think sucked so when it comes to Kong you really have to impress me. This new one is so awesome and impresses me beyond belief.
This is not your typical Kong in the jungle fighting dinosaurs and being taken to New York and shot down by planes. No here Kong is King alright and they never leave the island. John Goodman is a scientist who has pics of an island where planes and ships have disappeared over the South Pacific. He suspects something big is there and convinces the military to give him a crew to go there headed by Samuel Jackson.
The story takes place at the end of the Vietnam War so there are many songs from that era in the sound track. The reason I call it Apocalypse Kong is because there are scenes of helicopters flying over jungle areas while these songs are playing just like in the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now.
There are two women along one who is a photo journalist Brie Larson as Mason Weaver and another Vietnamese assistant Tian Jing as San. They enlist the aid of a tough former British Army captain James Conrad who is an excellent tracker (Tom Hiddleson, Loki of The Avengers) in a local bar to go with them after they pay him a huge sum of money.
When they arrive on the Island they meet a fellow named Hank Marlow who has been living there since the end of WW11 when his plane crashed and was shot down. He is friends with the natives and he warns them about monsters on the Island.
No sooner are they on the island when they encounter Kong who destroys Jackson’s men in their helicopters with his bare hands. Jackson is furious and wants to kill Kong from then on.
There are lots of Monsters like I’ve never seen before and hard to describe only to say they are like giant lizards with a three pronged tongue. One monster is like those stick bugs you see that look just like a stick. When a soldier sits on what he thinks is a log he is shocked when it moves and it is this giant huge, humongous,camouflaged stick lizard which gobbles him up. Yes there are lots of close ups of the open jaws of these creatures. There is a giant spider disguised as a forest that is very terrifying and giant water buffalos that are cool to watch.
One night when James and Mason are off alone they surprise Kong and gently go up to him and touch his face. From then on they decide to save him along with the help of their WW11 buddy.
The natives here are great to look at and look like a real ancient lost tribe that has been around for centuries. They don’t speak like in the original kong.
Kong,Skull Island doesn’t even try to go the “white woman on Empire State Building” path but instead offers a wild, violent and funny survival monster movie with lots of monsters, action and carnage. The actors are great and create interesting characters, especially John C. Reilly as the stranded WW11 vet rules every scene he’s in. The film doesn’t even try to be more than a huge monster mash, there are few subtle tones, but plenty of great effects, creepy beasts and locations.
The fight scenes between Kong and the lizards are exciting and breath taking. The computer graphics are the most real I’ve seen and in 3-D it was the best 3-D I’ve seen so far. This Kong certainly rivals the original and is the Kong for this time. Check it out if you have the chance. If you do see it, stay until after the closing credits for an added bonus of what is to come. You can see the exciting trailers I have below to get an idea.
Kong: Skull Island (2017) | Fandango 16 excellent mini trailers for it here