So this review is a little late, sorry about that, but its because this particular article is also going into an upcoming magazine here in South Africa, and I wasn’t sure if I could upload the same article to my blog, turns out I can, so here it is at long last.
A highly anticipated reboot, which fits perfectly into the world of Legendary’s 2014 Godzilla reboot.
I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible but let’s be honest: we all know the story of King Kong; no thanks to Peter Jackson and his 2005 rendition of the story, but Skull Island changes things a little.
Remember Monarch? The secretive group that had been attempting to study Godzilla and the MUTOs? Skull Island, from what we can see, takes place not too long after Monarch’s inception as a US government agency. Another change to the story is the setting; while Peter Jackson’s King Kong took place in the early 1930s (1933, if I recall correctly), Skull Island seems to take place at the very end of the Vietnam War.
The most easily noticeable difference is Kong’s size. The Kong we see in Skull Island is (probably) the second largest King Kong has ever been; and according to certain characters in the film, he’s supposed to get a lot bigger. And one would imagine he’d have to, with Kong and Godzilla set to face off again at some point in the not too distant future.
But enough of that, onto the actual review.
Kong was an amazing film, let’s not deny that, but there were certain flaws that cannot be overlooked.
Like how about the fact that the best action sequences in the entire film take place in the first fifteen minutes? Am I the only one who noticed that? Or does everyone else feel differently about the layout of the film’s scenes?
Another point to make is that Kong’s interactions with the lead characters felt a little forced. They literally had one moment of intimacy – where the female lead gets to lay a hand on the big guy’s face; and after that, their relationship felt as if it had been thrown upon us in a way that said “this is how it is, deal with it”.
The film did have a few tidbits of comedy, the jokes were a little dry and probably aren’t for everyone; don’t expect anyone to laugh out loud but I wouldn’t expect anything less than a slight giggle from the audience now and then either.
What I did find interesting is that we never see Kong go down on all fours, and I’m sure this was more a design move than anything else, traveling about on two legs makes him taller and look more menacing – and not only towards the Skullcrawlers, among other threats on Skull Island, but towards the audience as well, putting Kong on two legs instead of four sets him apart from Mighty Joe Young and really gives this sense of strength and total dominion over the entirety of the island.
And finally, the all-important boss fight, where Kong faces off against “the big one”, the mother of all Skullcrawlers (who were pretty well designed, might I add). The problem with this scene is that it was too slow and too long. The Skullcrawler just refused to die; I get that it is effectively the main villain and all but the scene in which Kong fights it went on for just a bit too long.
Oh, and where the heck were the dinosaurs?