Monday, March 13, 2017

Movie Review: Kong: Skull Island

Bringing the "monster movie" genre to a whole new level, Kong: Skull Island allows viewers to see Kong in his natural habitat, the audiences get to see him for the King that he really is. So, nope-no climbing of skyscrapers in this one. 

Set right after the Vietnam war, Skull Island gets a funky 70's upgrade with the music, which I will talk about in length because I am a music geek. I loved how the film integrated a rather sturdy portable record player in the story which allowed for some awesome songs such as Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" and "Run Through The Jungle" by Credence Clearwater Revival, which are just some of my favorites from the soundtrack. I have a portable record player of my own, so seeing that in the movie was a personal treat for me. 

Another aspect of the film which made me happy was seeing the movie through photography with Brie Larson's Mason Weaver, a feisty "anti-war" photojournalist, of all the characters, she had the most 70's vibe about her, which I appreciated, though very subtle. It was nice to see the story told behind the lens which in my opinion added to the human side of the movie.    

While history, music and photography are just added bonus in the film, this is still of course a "Monster Movie" to its core and it was a monster movie of epic proportions, the jump scares were effective and I found myself screaming in my seat (more than once) and watching from behind from my fingers. I can say that it is my favorite monster movie to date. That final battle will leave you at the edge of your seat as Kong ensures his place in his kingdom and claims the title of "King". 

While the story is simple enough -get in uncharted island, find monsters, people run, people die, we need to escape-there are still some talking points in the characters, mostly in Samuel L. Jackson's Preston Packard who after feeling the shame of losing the Vietnam War is desperate to regain some kind of honor, even at the point of putting his men in danger, this desperation turns to an insatiable thirst for revenge in the movie, its funny what war does to a person.  

Speaking of characters, there were pretty thin, save for Jackson and Larson. Tom Hiddleston's saving grace was his tight blue shirt and that hero shot of him running through a cloud of poisonous gas while slashing through monster birds with a Japanese sword. 

John C. Reilly as a marooned survivor with his dry humor was a crowd favorite and the end credits dedicated to him was a nice touch. 

Since we are talking about post credits, make sure to stay after the credits as there is a post credits scene which teases at how the film sets up for the Monster Cinematic Universe. *wink* *wink* (Godzilla). 

8 out of 10. Kong: Skull Island is an enjoyable Monster Movie, one that I will surely see again. I recommend that you see it in cinemas though (IMAX) if possible for the full "monster experience". There are also some beautiful images in the film, such as Kong's silhouette against a raging orange sunset with helicopters flying in to take on the king and seeing that on the big screen is a must! 

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