Kong: Skull Island, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (who also directed the beautiful small indie, The Kings of Summer) is the second film of the Monster-verse franchise. If you are not aware of this, the same universe also has Godzilla which makes the 2014 film, directed by Gareth Edwards, the first film of this series; while the upcoming Godzilla film in 2019 and Godzilla vs Kong in 2020 are going to be the third and fourth installment. Now, while Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla had a brilliant, impressive trailer and the film itself had lots of promises, it ultimately fell short of expectations because of the overly serious and somber treatment. That is why, when Kong was announced as the second film of this franchise, I was not exactly that happy or even excited.
Well, I am pretty happy and glad to find myself wrong, because Kong: Skull Island has actually delivered. The main reason Godzilla didn’t work for me, despite all the great build up and premises was it tried too hard to become a serious origin story and didn’t give the audience much of Godzilla action. The primary purpose of monster movies is giving the audience some large scale, gigantic monster action, and Kong: Skull Island left no stone unturned in that department. It showed what we wanted to see in the very first minute, and it didn’t hold back after that. Throughout the movie, we got to see Kong in his full glory.
The movie has certain issues, though. There are stock characters like someone who sees Kong as the enemy and hell-bent on killing him even when Kong is actually helping the human by fighting the greater enemy, a giant monstrous sea creature kind of thing; a scientist whom we have seen in various other movies like this. Like what always happens in movies like these, we see people being stupid in critical situations and this movie is filled with those clichéd, familiar tropes. There is nothing really new or that astoundingly original, except the inclusion of a “Cast Away”-esque character which worked for the most part.
But with all that said, this movie entertains. And that is not only because of the monster action set pieces but also because of its funny quotient. There are lots of humor in this movie. Most of the characters, albeit some of them are undeveloped, are surpassingly humorous and sarcastic which makes the movie a fun watch, overall.
This is a very beautiful looking movie as well. There are some jaw-dropping, fantastic shots; in fact, the whole movie has been shot brilliantly, with the use of right kind of colors and tone to give the movie its look and feel. Cinematographer Larry Fong (also known for 300, one of the best looking movies ever) deserve a round of applause for his work here. Along with the cinematography, the use of music and songs (almost in a la Guardian of the Galaxy fashion) has helped to enhance the entertainment value of the movie.
There is nothing much can be said about acting or performances, even though the cast is filled with top-rated, A listed actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and John Goodman. None of the actors here had the chance to give a noteworthy act, and they just fit right into their respective characters. John C. Reilly shines a bit more than everyone else, perhaps.
Kong: Skull Island is a no-nonsense, fun monster movie if you are not excepting too much from it. This is a significant improvement when it comes to the franchise. On the big screen, it looks wonderful and if you are into these kinds of movies, you go home entertained.