Solid cast, some sparkling photographic gems and an intriguing premise - "Apocalypse Now" meets "Predator" meets, um, "King Kong" - but ultimately it suffers from very poor writing, some very wonky effects and a lack of thematic ambition: a much better film would have been to ditch the cast and focus on Sam Jackson plotting revenge on Kong for killing his unit, full of rich 'Nam metaphors. Make it!
What a soundtrack! If I could be anyone else I'd be Samuel L. Jackson! The guy is everywhere!! Can someone explain to me how Goodman got out of there and the other two couldnt? Did I miss something? Alright, the storm... what? I'm hoping for a movie that they cloned Kong. Yeah, that's entertainment to me.
If "Jurassic Park meets Apocalypse Now" sounds like it would turn out schizoid to you, you're absolutely right—even if, for the first 20 minutes, it seems like it might actually get away with it. This has the most Dead Serious moments in the franchise, mixed in with some of the silliest, a well-made ride that (troublingly) says nothing more than that the Vietnam War is just another costume a blockbuster can wear.
The first 30 minutes are very compelling: intriguing teaser, well-established characters, visually stimulating and, most importantly, we get the sense we're about to embark on a great adventure. Then we get to the island and everything that had been carefully crafted is thrown out the window in favor of plot, plot, plot. Character development dies, CGI and monsters abound, there's no more arc, no more emotion.
It's 2017, so it shouldn't be surprising to witness a "King Kong" film that is more beholden to first-person shooters, Studio Ghibli anime, and movies like "Jurassic Park" than the grand Hollywood romanticism of the original (or even Peter Jackson's remake) - it's not surprising, really, but it is strange. The big ape makes a strong impression but not much else in this Zack Snyder-esque pastiche does.
A hell of a lot of fun! This felt like a blend of a traditional Kong movie with the fury and thrills of modern monster movies laden with CGI, add a dash of goofball jokes and throw some grinning, anarchistic pop culture napalm (not unlike Apocalypse Now at times) and you've got one unique tone. That being said, the story becomes pathetically uninspired in the third act. Looking forward to the next entry.
The so-called 'monsterverse' is well served with this solid action film that is all about delivering a high octane visceral thrill ride. While missing the warmth and wonder of the Jackson '05 remake or the sheer wonderment of the '33 original this modern take simply relies on the thrills. Bodes well for the merging of the Godzilla and Kong franchises.
Probably the most tonally different movie you could make to follow up the new, American Godzilla movie and that's not a bad thing in this case. Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Kong: Skull Island is a campy, energetic B-movie with A-grade effects, loose enough for popcorn entertainment but tight enough to be a competent, well-acted movie. If the rest of the MonsterVerse assumes this style, we might get something memorable.