Kong: Skull Island – A brilliant reimagining of the iconic movie monster.

Posted on 15 March 2017
By Roisin Gordon
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The story of King Kong has been retold on the big screen many times from the 1933 classic to Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake but Kong Skull: Island breathes new life into the story by treating us to stunning visual effects, gorgeous scenery and many interesting characters.

Government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman, 10 Cloverfield Lane) and geologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins, Straight Outta Compton) receive funding for an expedition to the mysterious and virtually unknown Skull Island which they discovered through satellite images, in order that they can prove the existence of monsters.

They hire Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight) to guide them out to Skull Island, along with tracker Jack Conrad (Tom Hiddleston, Crimson Peak), photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson, Room) and other soldiers, explorers and scientists to support them on their adventure.

As you would expect, everyone on the journey comes into conflict with Kong and the other creatures they encounter resulting in the purpose of their mission becoming to fight for survival and escape this dangerous island.

This story gives a different take on King Kong compared to how the story has been previously told and whilst it’s nothing new or groundbreaking, it’s still a fun watch and has enough to keep you entertained both visually and with the interactions between the characters although they don’t get much exposition, you enjoy watching them on this journey.

The action scenes between the characters and the monsters were so fast paced and thrilling that they often left you on the edge of your seat as you wonder which character will fall victim to the monsters and if anyone will get out alive.

The design of Kong is on a much bigger scale than in his previous incarnations and has him really living up to his role of King of the island and his ability to fight off the other monsters, much like the previous films he is initially seen as a monster but it soon shows that he is only trying to protect his land and whilst he’s not given as much focus as the human characters he still has some impressive scenes.

The design of Skull Island is incredible which really creates an atmosphere that is a cross between a jungle and a war zone which is a fitting setting for our characters journey, the creatures that you encounter on the island are well designed and a little creepy particularly the Skull Crawlers which are lizard-like creatures that devour some of the characters in one bite.

Surprisingly there was no romance subplot, whilst some scenes made it look like Jack and Mason would end up as a romantic couple and they did have good chemistry with each other, nothing ever happened between them. They didn’t even have Kong falling in love with the female lead which has been the main focus of the earlier films although there are a couple of scenes that do show a small connection between them.

The cast all gave good performances even if the characters don’t get much exposition, Tom Hiddleston is both charming and strong as the likeable action-hero lead which is a far cry from his role as Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Brie Larson is the voice of reason throughout the mission who is a much stronger female lead than Ann Darrow, as she is both brave and willing to risk her life on this journey.

John C, Reilly as the pilot who crashed on the island 28 years earlier, provides the comic relief and light hearted moments amongst all the action and serious tone, as he cracks one-liners and tries to understand what has happened in the world since he went missing.

Samuel L. Jackson whilst not as charismatic and likeable as Larson and Hiddleston still manages a creditable performance as you can empathise with his actions and whilst not wanting him to hunt Kong you do know he’s only trying to seek vengeance on him for killing his soldiers.

Kong Skull: Island is a fun action packed film that should satisfy all and might pave the way for future spin-off films.