Review: Kong: Skull Island is uneven and disappointing

PUBLISHED: 10:05 22 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:25 22 April 2017

Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island

© 2016 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Rising from the ashes of 2005’s interminable King Kong remake by Peter Jackson, Kong: Skull Island attempts to breathe new life into the franchise.

The task falls to director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and a stellar cast including winner of last year’s best actress Oscar Brie Larson.

The film is set during the aftermath of the Vietnam war, and the initial set up sees John Goodman’s scientist assembling a team of soldiers and adventurers to explore a mysterious uncharted island in the Pacific, that may or may not be home to some rather large beasts.

It’s not long before the titular Kong shows up and throws their expedition into chaos.

However, he is the least of their problems as our heroes are left stranded and at the mercy of the islands other far more hostile inhabitants known as ‘Skull Crawlers’.

It’s an interesting set up but unfortunately the script lets the premise down.

The cast for this film, including Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson as well as the aforementioned Larson and Goodman, would be the envy of any blockbuster, but they are given precious little to play with and are left with hollow and undefined roles.

Their motivations also make little sense, for example the group’s “scientific” way of mapping the new found island involves dropping bombs and napalm from their military helicopters.

Having begun as a serious monster flick, the group soon meet John C. Reilly’s stranded World War Two vet, who appears to have been parachuted in from a different film.

His job is to instil some light relief, but this new comedic tone jars against the rest of the film and cheapens the life and death stakes.

The eventual plan for this franchise is to have Kong face off with Legendary Entertainment’s other famous creature – Godzilla – and it bodes well for that film that the spectacular monster battles are the best thing about this one.

However, on the whole, Kong: Skull Island is uneven and fails to add up to the sum of its parts. Disappointing.

1 comment

  • I wholeheartedly disagree with this review. When I read reviews like these I often wonder if the reviewer saw the same film I did. I know it's just opinion, but it's fascinating how a film or an album or whatever can spark such polar opposite views. I for one thought Kong Skull Island was wonderful. John C. Reilly's character added a lot to the film and by keeping him alive and not repeating the mistake Godzilla (another movie, while flawed, I thought was good) made with Bryan Cranston, added the character depth the movie needed. I'm glad giant monster films are making a come back and this film combined with Godzilla 2014, have made over a billion dollars.

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    Rich Mackey

    Sunday, April 23, 2017

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