The amusement of a film is impacted by a magnitude of elements. Merit of scenery or story alone can only take it so far. Kong was a fun, star studded movie full of action and comedy. The giant ape is clearly a fan favorite with a rich history in cinema. It is apparent the filmmakers executed their epic vision and delivered extraordinary pictures as well as incredible mythic creatures. Unfortunately, the lacking anonymity of Kong: Skull Island left me without any wonderment.
Approaching the film with a realistic point of view is advantageous. There are some facts that should be known beforehand including being out of line with what people would refer to as the ‘classic Kong story line’, Kong is not a villain, and the film has multiple big name actors. John Goodman is one of the greatest actors working today, and Samuel L Jackson does not have a hard time finding roles for good reason. I was disappointed that their characters were not afforded any dynamic range to invest in their performances. This may be a far-fetched request given the subject matter and genre, but a guy can dream.
Everyone who sees this film is in for a visual powerhouse. Often times in sci-fi action flicks there is far too much explosion and shrapnel to see what exactly is happening. While avoiding filling every frame with Michael Bay-esc theatrics, Kong thuds poster image after poster image into each scene. Without Kong climbing to the top of the Empire State Building with a gorgeous blonde, the filmmakers injected multiple iconic images of their own. Skull Island is a work of art to sit back and absorb visually. It is captivating and provides exemplary illustrations which stick to memory.
If you have seen the trailer for Kong: Skull Island, you already know too much. All stories adhere to some form of cinematic structure when made into a movie. The new addition to the Kong franchise hugged every curvature of that structure far too tightly. Apart from the mystery of a few select modest characters, everyone’s journey through the 2 hours is completely foreseeable. The expectedness of Skull Island is unappealing, particularly considering the decision to diverge from the Empire State scene. Rather than a dark coaster full of unpredictable twists and turns, the experience was more like taking a final lap around the lazy river loop.
Kong: Skull Island is a fun watch and guaranteed to make the majority of viewers satisfied. Praise for the film covers aspects from the ingenuity of the island’s monsters and the rendering of the island itself. There is plenty that is worth seeing in this installment of Kong. Hopefully, the next chapter provides a more clandestine fable to fully immerse us into the fantasy universe. Follow @MattExists
Photo Credit: Art of VFX