Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Kong Skull Island (2017)


Summary: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.
Cast and characters. For the most part, I liked everyone. The actors do a good job in their roles, their characters are likable.
  • Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad. He is a former British Special Air Service Captain but is now seeking “mercenary” work from others. He gets mixed up in the expedition due to the amount of money he’s offered. We spend a lot of time with him, we trust him, he knows what he’s doing and wants to keep everyone safe but respect the land they’re on. He’s smart and cunning in navigating. I love Tom Hiddleston, it’s great seeing him in an action role like this (yes he’s Loki but that’s different), he’s very charismatic and likable. He also has great timing with humor. Also good chemistry with the other characters. The 70s look good on him.
  • Brie Larson as Mason Weaver. A photojournalist and peace activist, she joins the expedition for her own reasons. She’s sassy and feisty. I think someone thought she was a man due to her name and everyone’s surprised at her addition but she holds her own. Just like the women in King Kong films, she has a few run ins with Kong. I love Brie Larson, she’s such a great actress and can be really funny and dramatic. I thought she had great chemistry with Hiddleston and surprisingly Kong lol. The 70s look good on her.
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Preston Packard. A US Army Lieutenant Colonel and leader of the Sky Devils helicopter squadron. His group is hired to fly. His character is interesting. He completely takes a left turn that I wasn’t expecting, at least not from him. So without spoiling, that’s all I’ll say. Sam Jackson is a great actor, and he’s great here, as he always is. He’s kind of scary himself. He knows how to make some creepy faces lol.
  • John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow. A lieutenant whose spent 28 years stranded on the island since WWII. He knows the land and the creatures and has befriended the natives on the island. He’s hilarious, eccentric and it’s obvious to see that being there for so long has messed with him, but he holds it well. I don’t always find Reilly funny, but I really liked him here. His character is that kooky person people find whose been alone for years and sometimes they can be super annoying, but I think Reilly manages to prevent that. He’s probably a favorite character.
Secondary Characters.
  • John Goodman as Bill Randa. I might have put him in a leading character spot but I think he belongs here more. I think John Goodman is a great actor and sometimes he is so scary. He kind of has that going here, but for a different reason. He knows something and won’t be honest about it. That makes him scary and dangerous. Goodman does good with that here, it’s a smaller role, but he sets everything in motion.
  • Thomas Mann as Slivko. I like Thomas Mann. He’s part of Samuel L. Jackson’s group. He spends most of the film with Hiddleston, Larson and Reilly. He’s really funny and his loyalty is tested in the film. Mann is likable and his character could come off annoying but I think he manages to keep a balance.
  • Tobey Kebbell as Jack Chapman. He is Packard’s right hand man. That’s all I’m going to say. First time I’ve seen Tobey Kebbell play a role like this. FUN FACT: He also does the motion capture for Kong.
The Directing. I think a lot of choices for direction was fantastic. Certain angles chosen, especially of Kong, especially when it’s lined up with his eyes. Or certain shots of characters. I do this thing where I’ll pretend I’m taking a screen shot if it looks really good. I love a lot of the camera choices.
The Humor. I think with a film like this, it’s really easy to get caught up in the jump scares, the action and what not, but it’s actually pretty funny. Everyone has some great comedic moments. Most of them come from John C. Reilly or the banter between Jason Mitchell and Shae Whigham.
The Cinematography. Oh this film looks so good. When they’re on the island, the shots of Kong with the sun behind him,
The Action. The action is good, fast paced and fun. It definitely keeps you on your toes.
The Music. I really liked the musical score. There are like three songs in particular for Kong himself and they’re beautiful.
The Design of the creatures. I quite liked how the creatures looked in the film. I liked how large Kong was and how emotive his eyes are. He was very large, but definitely easy to tell he’s a gorilla and has his own iconic look. There’s also a bull like creature, that was magnificent. He looked like a mountain. Of course there are others.
Hard to connect to the characters. While I liked the characters enough, I do think it’s hard to connect to them outside of their purpose of being in the film. So, me wanting them to live etc, was more on me liking the actor or they were funny characters. There was dialogue sprinkled in there to help with certain characters but I definitely had no idea what their names were most of the time.
Predictable. It’s a different take on the King Kong story we’re used to, which is cool, I liked it but I mean it’s predictable. It’s not hard to figure out what might happen, what’s probably gonna happen.
The story. There’s a lot going on in here. Hidden agendas etc and I feel like some of those story lines didn’t really need to be here. John Goodman’s character has a whole thing going on outside of what’s being presented and I felt like they should have just stuck to that one storyline for him. Everyone doesn’t need to ulterior motives because soon enough Samuel L. Jackson’s character has his own thing going on. I think there should have been one or two driven storylines and they should have stuck to that.
Overall, I enjoyed Kong: Skull Island, I think it was a fun film. I thought it had a great look, the characters were fun for the most part, they were a bit on the shallow end in terms of us knowing them but they’re mostly likable. There are some great directional choices and the  the score is beautiful. I do think it’s a bit predictable and the story has a lot going on but it’s a fun ride.
Rating: 3.00 out 5 stars.
What did you think of Kong: Skull Island? Let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog!


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