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  • Writer's pictureRyan Nevin

Kong: Skull Island Review

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I have been repeatedly saying today that writing this review was going to be hard. Not because it was a bad film, but what made it was the incredible visuals. Kong: Skull Island is a brilliant monster film, and a really good start to the monster movie franchise. You could Say Godzilla started this, but Kong is the first film to confirm what direction the studio are heading in.

Kong: Skull Island is a film that needs to be seen in the cinema, and I feel sorry for anyone that misses it. The audio of this film was on another level, something much required when making a monster movie. You don’t only just hear the roar of Kong, you feel it. At one point I actually thought I felt my seat shake. Complimenting the sound, there was also some phenomenal visual effects and cinematography. One of my favourite shots was when we see Tom Hiddleston’s character, James Conrad, take a sword to these unknown flying monsters that are attacking him and his friends. In this scene we get some brilliant slow-mo, really unique camera angles, as well as seriously vibrant colours as we saw this deep purple toxic gas behind him, as well as the blood of these creature splashing everywhere as sword cuts through them.

Kong circled by helicopters

This leads me to the cast of the movie. I am now completely convinced Tom Hiddleston should take over Daniel Craig as James Bond. He’s shown in this film that he can be a real bad-ass. This is demonstrated from literally his first appearance, as he easily takes out two thugs trying to claim money back from a bet they lost against him. We also get Samuel L. Jackson playing a very angry Preston Packard, the captain of the squadron sent in to explore the newly found "Skull Island". A captain of a squadron that is absolutely destroyed by Kong as they enter the apes island. This is what sets off Sam L down a very dark revenge path, which has him fixated on killing Kong. When casting Jackson, you are guaranteed a solid performance every time. There is a joke in the film Ted 2 about how he is the black guy in every movie, and to be fair there is a truth behind this joke. He is pretty much the black guy in every film, but there is a clear reason for this. On top of these two lead roles there’s Brie Larson as the teams photographer, Mason Weaver. This is probably one of Larson's biggest films of her career so far. I personally don’t think she set the world alight with her acting of this role, but she wasn’t really given anything special to do. An average performance for an average part. John C. Reilly is his brilliantly funny self as per usual. Pushing the comedy side of this film, with his character Hank Marlow, a pilot which has been stranded on Skull Island for over 20 years. John Goodman isn’t the most diverse actor but he does well in playing the role of Bill Randa, the catalyst for the story, due to him being responsible for the visit to this unknown island, and his dying need to find Kong.

The best part to this film is by far is Kong himself. Even though he stood as tall as a skyscraper, Kong looked real. There wasn’t one part of this film where I thought he looked fake, which can happen a lot with films like this. Not only did he look brilliant, he was so kick-ass. We saw him in action so many times. He was either destroying 90% of the army squadron, or battling several different types of monster. He almost seemed unstoppable until Packard manages to sabotage him, but this was a very brief period of weakness for our King. I cannot wait to see him stand off against Godzilla, who is my favourite monster of them all. We were also treated to some pretty scary creatures, like the Skull Crawlers, a Giant Squid, monster birds and what seemed like an abnormally huge spider.

The strange thing about Kong: Skull Island was that even though pretty much every aspect was entertaining and done well to a certain degree, it is only a film you could watch once. Which is weird, as the story seemed to have depth. There’s just something I cannot quite put my finger on. It just didn’t have that lure to it which makes you want to watch a film over and over again. I think that it’s because once you have witnessed the spectacle of the film for the first time, the rest of the picture hasn’t got much weight to it.

There isn’t much of a film score to really notice, as the film is full of a individual tracks by popular artists such as Led Zeppelin. This gave the film the feel it was looking for though, which was this 70s Vietnam army vibe. The only gripe I had with this was how much they filled this film with music, It was almost starting to get predictable to when a song would kick in, but to be fair, the tracks they chose we an absolute pleasure.

I feel as though I am starting to ramble on a bit so i’m going to just conclude this review by talking about the after credit tease, which for me was one of the best parts of the film. We got a little hint in regards to what’s to come, and it seems really exciting. The audience are shown slides of old caveman like paintings of all different types of monsters, and one of those paintings being the one and only Godzilla, facing off against a 3 headed monster which looked like King Ghidorah. This was a treat, and got me very excited to say the least. On top of this we got to hear the roar and rumblings of Godzilla himself behind a screen gone to black, which got the hairs standing on end.

Even though I said I probably won’t rush to watch this film again, I have to say it is a great movie which everyone should try and catch at the theatre. There is not much to be disappointed with when it comes to Kong: Skull Island. Bring on King Kong vs Godzilla!

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