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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review
Kong: Skull Island is an action/adventure spectacle that not only improves on past incarnations of King Kong films but also blows the most recent Godzilla film out of the water. The biggest problem with Godzilla was that you barely saw Godzilla on screen but rather just his enemies. In Skull Island, however, you see King Kong the perfect amount. There are still other threats on the island but you get a healthy balance of everyone without one being underwhelming and the other being overwhelming.
The film begins with scientist/scholar Bill Randa (John Goodman) and his partner Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) attempting to get approval to gather a team together to journey to an uncharted island in the Pacific in order to prove that there were still prehistoric creatures still alive there. The team is eventually assembled, which includes a military escort led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), a handful of soldiers, expert tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), and anti-war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson). Upon arriving on the island, the team quickly discovers that the danger is off-the-charts and beyond anything any of them could have imagined.
What I loved about the film is that there were no small parts. Every character had a story and plenty of screen time. Everyone had their own reason and drive for their actions and that made the film all the more real. The standout character had to be Hank Marlow, played by John C. Reilly, who was a WWII pilot who crashed on Skull Island during a mission. He had been stranded there for 28 years so he was rather knowledgeable about all the creatures and even Kong himself. Reilly pulled off the comedic crazy guy very well and he deserves praise for his performance.
The effects were absolutely astounding. Every creature was uniquely awe-inspiring and most of them were likes of which I had never seen before. I hope that we get to see some more of the island's dangers in the inevitable sequel.
Overall, I was impressed with the film. It definitely wasn't the trainwreck that Peter Jackson's King Kong was and I appreciated that. Will it win any Oscars? Probably not, but it's certainly a fun ride. I give it a 3.5 out of 4.
© 2017 Alec Zander