Movie, Reviews

“Kong: Skull Island”

 

Review by John M. Delia, Jr.

Take a wild ride on Kong: Skull Island a slick new film about the ferocious Gorilla that never fails to amaze. However the campy story and the chaotic acting, one thing still remains, it’s the violent, creepy and mysterious creatures that will get you every time. What lies on the surface is terrifying enough, but what lies below, unstoppable. As for the real rollercoaster ride, read my comment below.

An uncharted island is discovered by a United States government satellite team somewhere in the South Pacific. The mysterious island that looks like a skull from the air has a continuous hurricane that surrounds it. No one before now has decided to explore the surface of this almost impenetrable island until now.

Kong: Skull Island photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Lead by an agency of the federal government, a team gets assembled to travel to Skull Island and find out if it has important elements that my aid the country. Senior official William “Bill” Randa (John Goodman) accompanies the squad as their primary contact. Geologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) and San (Tian Jing) and a biologist are the main members of the group that can size up the “value” of occupying the landmass.

Kong: Skull Island photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Along as their protection are a team of crack Army led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), Major Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell), Captain Earl Cole (Shea Whigham), Warrant Officers and pilots, Glenn Mills (Jason Mitchell) and Reg Slivko (Thomas Mann). Mills and Slivko have the experience to fly through anything and the guts to get the job done.

James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), a former British Special Air Service Captain who can lead the tracking portion of the journey through any kind of terrain. Going along for the ride is Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), a war photojournalist and peace activist to photograph the entire mission.

Kong: Skull Island photo courtesy Warner Bros.

When they get inside the tumultuous cloud they have to force land on the island. So begins a mission impossible as they start to encounter beasts the size of sky scrapers and creatures more violent than they have ever encountered. What happens next is the rest of the story.

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts provides an interesting view of the Kong experience. This storyline follows a typical path that leads to lots of action, needed special effects, and computer generated imagery (CGI). It does lack some creativity, but does entertain well. The special effects were excellent and displayed the creatures and landscape successfully.

Kong: Skull Island photo courtesy Warner Bros.

As far as the acting goes, the cast does a good job against the green screen, but it doesn’t matter. Although the CGI is actually amazing, playing off the computer graphics tends to be a bit difficult to make it all look real. Most of the lizard like creatures are shown off center and as each of the actors come into view they look like they are not even looking in their direction at times.

Kong: Skull Island has been rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language. The film is available in standard 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D. Unfortunately the film looks more like a setup to the new ride at Universal Studios Orlando that has just opened a ride with the same name.

Final Grade: I give this an above average grade for its exciting storyline and fantastic special effects.

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Shea Whigham, Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Toby Kebbell, and Thomas Mann
Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 58 min.
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Distributed by: Warner Brothers

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com