Thursday, May 4, 2017

KONG: SKULL ISLAND (2017)



Directed By: Jordan Vogt-Roberts 
Written By: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein & Derek Connolly 
Story By: John Gatins 
Based on the Character created By: Merian C.Cooper & Edgar Wallace 
Cinematography By: Larry Fong 
Editor: Richard Pearson 


Cast: Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reily, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell, Tian Jing, Thomas Mann, Richard Jenkins, Will Brittain 


A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.


This is the type of film that adventure movies of yesteryear strived to be with the scope and sport of the film. Not to mention the effects offered. Though I like those films this film doesn't hold in the memory as strongly as those films. Maybe as those films had to depend on character and atmosphere more rather than the effects at hand. Which grounded themselves into the audiences memory as you felt like you were there Or knew characters like them or character types.

That, truly says something about having all you need might not be the best. As the older films of this type had to work with what they had. Make the best out of it they could. Though you are more open to everything as they are checking for anything to explore and plug up.

This is practically an early summer movie. A fun blockbuster popcorn movie. That is probably best experienced on the big screen. Though I believe will be enjoyed wherever you watch it.

If you have everything at your disposal. Everything goes to plan but leaves a lot to be desired. As you don't review as much. As you have gotten all you want. So you don't realize how lucky you are to have what you do.

The film is generally surprising with all the energy and fun that comes across in the visual tricks and performances as well as the tone and ambiance throughout.

The film even begins with a prologue that is an exciting short and action sequence in of itself. That pays off interestingly.

You can tell many of the shots were meant to be watched in 3D, but luckily even watching it regularly it doesn't become distracting and feels justified to amplify the action.

The film comes close to feeling Like a classic comic book from your youth that stays exciting.

The film is heavily influenced by the film APOCALYPSE NOW. Only not as dark and deep. Which really becomes obvious when John C. Reilly shows up and is fairly reminiscent of Dennis hopper's character in that movie. He just has more of a backstory and reason for his madness.

The two matinee idol stars Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston if this film feel inefficient for the set-up's they face. As they don't really make their mark. Your never really care about them. The actors are fine in their performances but they make minimal impact. Even though both are more known for dramatic acting. Here at least the film seems determined to make Tom Hiddleston more an action star.

Samuel L. Jackson is the true lead of the film. As his obsession of defeating king seems to be more of the narrative after awhile. As he is tired after Vietnam of losing soldiers. Even if they mainly seem to perish in this island because of his obsession. As his commander character goes mad slowly.

John Goodman is good in his supporting role. Though it feels like he isn't in the movie long enough. Even though he is the driving force for them to go to this island.

The first half of this film is more technical and tactical, building to be a survival tale. As we get to learn about the island and it's inhabitants. Then once we get to the second half it is all about survival and where more of the action sequences come into play. As there is where the cast starts to become disposable and eliminated quickly at time and shockingly. So that there are no sacred cows. At least the film tries to give the characters more backstory and circumstances so that the audience cares about their fates.

Which gives the film a bit of danger as no one seems truly safe.

Having most of Jackson's squad look baby faced works as that was how it seemed to be in Vietnam and it is shocking to see such young men dying when they have their whole lives ahead of them. Plus it seems off putting to see them using weapons and heavy artillery that is almost bigger Than them.

Here you get to enjoy the different creatures of the island as well as the tribe they meet. Some they go against and some are surprisingly are their allies. So that the film feels less like a creature feature or singular monster movie and more like a jungle adventure epic. As the film always feels big and actually has a reason for it's decisions. No matter how ridiculous or silly.

Especially in a scene that tries to challenge convention where a character sacrifices themselves for no reason and ends up unnecessary as it end up being ineffective anyway.

This is what more blockbusters need to embrace. An old school adventure and actual excitement as well as thrills throughout. Where it seems like the filmmaker cares about the material and characters they present. Making that world scary but one you can't take your eyes from and want to visit.

The film luckily isn't a slave to special effects as much as some. Here the effects seem to add to the feel and fantasy elements of the film. The film actually feels like it could be a companion piece to Peter Jackson's remake of KING KONG only here less spectacle and more adventurous.


GRADE: B-

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