King Kong is one of cinemas’ biggest icons and I always have respect for any director willing to take on a remake or reboot of this kind because it has a lot to live up too. Most recently we have the 2005 movie ‘King Kong’, directed by Peter Jackson which was a very well made film in my opinion. ‘Kong: Skull Island’, is a different take on the legend that is Kong and I didn’t really know what to expect from this film, I went in with a completely open mind and was pleasantly surprised.
We have some good actors in this film but I have just one complaint about the cast. Some people may disagree but Samuel L. Jackson, for me was just too much. Do we have to have the slow emphasis on almost every word he speaks in every, single, film he is in? Yes, it does work well in some of his other roles but I’m personally getting tired of it. The rest of the cast are great, no one else tries to ‘out act’ anyone else and John C. Reilly adds some subtle humor in the film.
The team are gathered too researched Skull Island and are led by John Goodman’s character Bill Randa. To research this island they use explosives, a great idea yes? Enter a very angry King Kong, wanting to defend his territory and destroy the intruders. The team get split up from the battle and try to make it through the island towards the agreed meeting point so they can get back home. This island doesn’t have just one large creature living on it. There are other threats on Skull Island as well as a tribe of people that also live there in fear of ‘Skull Crawlers’. Due to the explosives, the largest ‘Skull Crawler’ awakens and Kong goes on to fight the creature as it was responsible for wiping out his entire family.
The creature designs are very good, we’ve gone less modern ‘Planet of the Apes’ style and back to a more basic design similar to the 1933, wide eyed Kong. There’s a few scenes where the green screen back drops are noticeable but nothing too bad.
We all know what is coming, following the success of the 2014 ‘Godzilla’, Legendary Productions are now working on ‘Godzilla: King of Monsters’ which is set for a 2019 release. There’s no mention of Kong in the title or what little information is being given at the moment but Monarch are definitely going to be involved so you never know…
Overall I enjoyed this film, even with Samuel L. Jackson’s fairly over-dramatic performance. There was plenty of action, great creature designs and effects and some good acting and humor! There’s a lot of room now with the story of Kong after this film so I’m sure we’ll see him in the future.
Perfect Popcorn Score – I’m giving this a seven, it was a refreshing take on the Kong story and a pleasant surprise… 7/10.