KONG: SKULL ISLAND | REVIEW
Why the world needed another King Kong movie I will never know. But the big guy is back. This time in a C-grade piece of trash that has so much war love and confusion in what story they are trying to tell that it should never have seen the screen. KONG: SKULL ISLAND is the worst movie I have seen in 2017 so far and I didn’t walk out because I had someone with me who was keen to see it. All I could do was sit there rolling my eyes like a pompous ass while people all around me walked out. It is out Thursday 9th March in Australia from Roadshow/ Warner Bros. It is rated M and runs for 118 painful minutes.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND SYNOPSIS:
There is some X-Files type government agency that looks into oversized monsters, they have never actually seen one however. They have an idea there will be one on an Island in the Pacific that is constantly surrounded by an epic storm. The guys are basically crackpots with next to no funding left but persuade the military to escort them on the island for mapping purposes. It is the last uncharted island and unless they do it the Russians will. Their plan for mapping is to drop seismic charges all over the island and the vibrations will help them map the island.
Instead the King of the Island, some monkey called Kong, is awakened to see giant mosquitos bombing his island. His plan is all out attack to destroy the giant tin mozzies. Every single helicopter is knocked out of the sky and all the survivors are trapped on the Island. They have a deadline to get to a rendezvous point on the other side of the island to be collected or left on the island.
There is actually some good things in the movie. Firstly the CGI is exceptional, no doubt about. KONG: SKULL ISLAND is heavily style over substance. The above shot, an APOCALYPSE NOW styled shot, is iconic and stunning. And Kong is so incredibly realistic. So are all the other animals on the island. The giant buffalo is a personal favourite.
The fight sequences with big bad monsters all look fantastic, it is truly amazing how far CGI has come.
John C Reilly. He is perfect in the movie. He stole the show and had the most depth to any character in the movie. Plus he brought some silliness to a silly movie while most of the rest of the characters made my head throb.
Thomas Mann also nailed his performance, he is such an incredibly different character from ME, EARL AND THE DYING GIRL. He also brought some humour to the roll and really stood out. Keep your eye on him into the future, he is going places.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed a litte indie film I loved called THE KINGS OF SUMMER. How the hell does an indie director have one feature movie then get offered this blockbuster? Was he the only one silly enough to sign? The only one who would allow studio bean counters to decimate an iconic story? I don’t know but his direction of this messy screenplay is off the rails. Did he read the screenplay prior to shooting?
Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson – basically a package deal in this. All they needed was a make-out session at the end of the movie to make me throw things at the screen. Their acting is good, they are both great actors. Every time Hiddleston opens his mouth and talks my knees wobble, so velvety. The one thing I did notice while watching his Jurassic Park Sam Neill performance was how good he would actually be as James Bond. I never saw it until watching him in this. But Larson, and more so Hiddleston, are poorly cast in this movie. I think he realised half way through how bad the movie was turning out and really tried his best.
The other thing that was just bad was the tribe John C Reilly lived with on the island, they look so good and need to be in a Deep Forest album, but what was their purpose? They just nodded and had lots of facial paint. They made things look cool in their scenes but were completely irrelevant.
Samuel L Motherfucking Jackson. Dreadful dreadful fracking dreadful. He is pissed Vietnam is ending at the start of the movie, he just wants to blow shit up and live the military war life. He sees most of his men killed at the start of the movie because HIS MEN WERE DROPPING BOMBS ON A CREATURE’S HABITAT. All he wants is to destroy Kong regardless of the dangers or how many men he loses. And then he poorly channels a mix of both Brando and Duvall from Apocalypse Now. Multiple scenes with him staring through fire at Kong or standing there as shit blows up around him just made me dislike him more. Two dimensional annoying character.
The next thing on my shit list is the screenplay. It is so packed with military testosterone it is just stupid. There is a sprinkling of tenderness with the lady Kong supposedly falls in love with (Larson). A stupid X-Files like John Goodman, a Sam Neill Jurassic Park guide (Hiddleston), a bunch of military guys to get killed off. The King Kong story is about capturing something new and unique for the world, to collect him. In this it’s just “let’s fucking blow him up because,” nothing after because, just because.
There is one scene that especially pissed me off, the graveyard skeleton monster place towards the end. The “smartest man” in the movie, supposedly is Hiddleston’s character, he breaks from his character to make the dumbest call ever of “we can make it.” Ummmm no you can’t idiot. And then we get to see him run a (no shit) colour run with a gas mask and a samurai sword. I was laughing at the movie by this stage.
I only touch the surface of what I dislike about this movie in the review but I am running a high fever and already sound like a whiny brat movie hater. But KONG: SKULL ISLAND deserves it, it’s appalling and needs to be burned in a napalm fire. I am not a movie hater in the slightest and KONG needed to make its mind up of whether it was a silly movie or a serious movie. It settled on neither locked into silliness trying to be serious. It just wasn’t fun.
My first words at the end of the movie “I would rather watch SUICIDE SQUAD again.” Do yourself a favour, go and see LOGAN instead, or again, whatever, see something else, this is trash.
Jason King owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. ** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.