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Reviews Film / Kong Skull Island

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12/26/2018 18:40:07 •••

Interesting, Disjointed, Fun

I went in with one expectation: to watch a building-sized gorilla. That being said, the film was refreshing for ground that has been tread for decades. It didn't bring anything new to the table, but it didn't play entirely safe either.

Characters:

Samuel L Jackson shines here as a tired and on edge commander. He steals almost every scene, and the film gives him center-stage when appropriate. Yet he cannot drive the entire film, especially with other great names.

Discussing the other characters brings up the largest issue: it's trying to do too many things. Characters are all over the place. It's easier to connect to the archetype than the character. Is this guy crazy, sane, or a war hero; is this person set for revenge, confirmation, or science; does our adventurer want adventure, money, or work?

Again, they know what type of movie they are, and I respect them trying to give depth to shallow archetypes. But it is not consistent what type of characters they are making.

Visuals:

The visuals were stunning. Shot in Vietnam, which is very appropriate given the post-Vietnam war setting, the island feels real enough to be an actual forgotten location. There is rarely a point I think this island couldn't exist. The giant fauna inhabiting the island feel just as natural.

The only issue with the visual direction is it didn't really feel like it was set in the 1970's post-Vietnam. Yes, they keep playing period rock, but that doesn't date the film alone. This isn't a nitpick, but rather an oddity.

Plot:

The plot was alright. Again, it knows what type of movie this is, it was predictable. I won't spoil it, but there's not much to spoil. Everything doesnít deviant from the tracks much. Here again, the plot felt disjointed. Ideas and concepts were brought up only to never have any actual plot bearing. (A fascinating theory comes up twice. We don't see it, it doesn't affect anything, and nothing happens).

Death was frequent and unexpected. It gave the feeling at times where no-one was off limits. But it was also irreverent and almost glossed over. "Move on" as one character says. It was varied and interesting, surprisingly vivid at times, but a good part of the film.

What about star of the show?

Kong was great. Effects were distinct, you really understood his scale and power, and he was just fun to watch. He was on-screen much more than some giant monsters in recent cinema **Cough** Godzilla **Cough**. No complaints or comments. He was fun.

Verdict:

I go to see a building-sized gorilla do stuff, and I see a building-sized gorilla do stuff. Check.

Expectations aside, this was an interesting film. Sure, there were character and plot issues, and the tone bordered on uninteresting, yet it was not a boring film. There was great action and pacing, visuals were stunning, and there were moments of great acting.

Overall it doesnít tread new ground, but itís a great watch for an evening.

07/17/2018 00:00:00

What plot points were dropped that you\'re referring too? I\'m interested.

07/18/2018 00:00:00

Pretty sure he means the hollow earth thing. That all these monsters are boiling up out of the ground.

12/26/2018 00:00:00

^Mhm. The hollow earth theory was the plot point in question. It was an interesting idea, and given it was discussed and set up as something important multiple times, I would have thought it would have an effect on the plot. But it didn't.

I guess in the larger scheme, they were trying to lay groundwork for the godzilla/monarch crossover. But it just seemed like a forgotten plot thread.


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