Movie Title: Kong: Skull Island
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. and 58 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo
Where did I watch it?: Home
Kong: Skull Island opens over the South Pacific in 1944 with two men parachuting onto an island. One man is American and the other is Japanese. They begin a fight to the death at which point they stumble upon Kong our natural born, human altered, giant ape. This is followed by a really cool credit sequence that runs through decades of U.S. history bringing the movie to 1973 when the story is set.
Bill Randa (John Goodman) a representatives of Monarch visits Senator Willis (Richard Jenkins) to try and convince them to fund an expedition to Skull Island where they believe they will find something remarkable. From this meeting the various characters are pulled together. Samuel L. Jackson plays Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard who already suffers from Vietnam derangement syndrome after the United State’s defeat and eventually develops an Ahab-like zeal for killing the title character. Tom Hiddleston plays James Conrad a skilled tracker who is our leading protagonist. He is pretty generic in the role, but suitable. The main cast of characters is filled out by Brie Larson who fills the role Fay Wray in this iteration through the character of Mason Weaver. However, Mason Weaver is no Fay Wray. She is a war photographer, confronts danger, and kicks ass when she has to.
The helicopter division of Packard is ordered to escort Randa’s group of scientists to explore an undiscovered island surrounded by storms. Once they arrive they will have three days to conduct their mission before being extracted on the island’s north side. The scientists are happy to be there, but the soldiers want to go home. They are fresh out of the Vietnam War and aside from their commanding officer not eager for the assignment. Immediately upon arrival the scientists order the soldiers to drop seismic charges which stirs the creatures on the island. Everyone suspects this is not just a routine survey mission and it is quickly confirmed in an incredible action sequence.
The fight sequences in the movie are incredible, stylistic, and over the top. Much like other giant monster movies, the message is clear. Humans screw around with the natural order of things and nature eventually strikes back. The humans gladly decimate the island to the tune of Paranoid by Black Sabbath, but the comeuppance is tenfold. Kong: Skull Island is a winner in the age of CGI. They are able to do things with the character that were not imaginable twenty years ago and thus this version of King Kong blows away all but the original.
The exploration of the island leads to some really cool discoveries, a cool turn by John C. Reilly, and an amazing climax. Be sure to stay after the trailer for what I can only hope is a preview of things to come.
Kong: Skull Island is fantastic. The action sequences are incredible and while our characters are all fairly one dimensional they don’t need to be anything more than what they are. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Phantom Thread (2017)