Kong: Skull Island is a reboot of King Kong and follows a group of scientists and soldiers as they discover Skull Island and the monsters that roam the land.
Once again, another company is trying to create a shared universe of popular characters, and once again, they deliver something that is subpar on every level. Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island are the first films in Warner Bros’ so-called “MonsterVerse,” in which the two greatest monsters in cinema will come together and fight each other in a future film. Just like the DC Extended Universe, WB has proven that they only care about how cool the iconic characters look and nothing else. They have given no attention to the human characters, the script, or if the movie is even good.
There are only two aspects of this movie that are worthy of praise-several of the actors and the visual effects. Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, and John C. Reilly stand out as the best actors in the entire ensemble cast, despite their characters lacking any depth or development. Even in a mediocre film such as this, they manage to bring fairly entertaining performances that manage to stand out above everyone else’s average work.
All of the monsters look fantastic. Kong and the other creatures look real enough to absorb the audience into the action. Even when some of the characters interact with Kong, you can believe they are looking with a 100-foot ape. All of the other beasts are put on the screen without fail, despite their unremarkable designs.
From a giant spider to something that has a log for a body, none of the monsters will impress anyone with their appearances. They will shock the audience for sure, but will fail to leave an impression. I swear, they ripped off the monster from Temple Run to create the “skullcrawlers,” of which there are THREE of for Kong to fight. I see WB didn’t think having two of the same monster in Godzilla was a problem, especially since they were only slightly different from each other. WB is so unoriginal with their monsters, just watch and we’ll be seeing two of Mothra or King Ghidorah in Godzilla vs. Kong.
None of the characters are compelling enough to make the audience care about them. They are all so hollow, they can be summed up in a few words. Just to name a few, Hiddleston is nothing more than the badass. Jackson portrays a one-track-minded colonel who is hell-bent on killing Kong to avenge his fallen men. Brie Larson is a war photographer who hates war. Toby Kebbell wants nothing more than to get back home to his wife and newborn child. That’s it. Little to no development, depth, or dimensions. Most of the characters are nothing more than fodder for Kong or the other monsters to crush. If the characters aren’t interesting, there is no reason to care about the conflict of whether they survive or not
The script is terrible. It’s one thing when writers use an action movie cliché, like “What the hell is that?!” But when they use it six times, it gets annoying. Did they really have no other line to use when the characters came across a new monster? Even when a scene is supposed to have tension, it is ruined by laughable dialogue. The same can be said for emotional scenes; when you are supposed to feel sympathy for the characters, their words don’t suck you into the moment.
In the end, Kong: Skull Island is yet another uninspired monster movie packed with one-dimensional characters, filled to the brim with awful dialogue, that not even A-list stars like Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson can save. Do yourself a favor and skip this non-event that aims to wow with spectacular special effects and nothing beyond that.
Kong: Skull Island gets a D
“No film has captivated my imagination more than ‘King Kong.’ I’m making movies today because I saw this film when I was 9 years old.”-Peter Jackson, director of the superior 2005 remake of King Kong
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