12 years ago, we saw the release of King Kong, a re-make of the 1933 version, directed by Peter Jackson and starring the likes of Adrien Brody and Jack Black. Kong, that has had several releases and remakes made since its birth over 75 years ago, is now presented with another film to add to the franchise. Kong: Skull Island is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson in the lead roles. As a lover of the release 12 years ago, was Skull Island about to carry on my love for Kong? Or was it going to be a disappointment?
Kong: Skull Island tells the story of an expedition led by government agent Randa (John Goodman) and with a team consisting of British Special agent James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), Lietenant colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson) and his forces team, and pacifist photo journalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) and more, they set out for Skull Island, an island that no man has ever walked away from and is hidden away in electrical storms. Surviving the storm and reaching the island, they are ambushed by Kong. The team get separated across the island, and must find their way back to the north-east side of the island, where they will send for the signal for an extraction in three days. What we`re then treated to is two hours of roars, attacks, crazy things that want to kill you, and of course, a terrifying Kong.
Skull Island is a fresh approach to the Kong franchise. They portray Kong as a massive monster type (He reminds me very much of Godzilla in a similar sort of height and look). This very powered monster that can destroy anything. I like the new approach, and it does offer something new, but turning the main character and iconic monster into something completely different from what we`ve seen in the past, I`m don’t know. I`m not sure I`m a fan of how they`ve portrayed it.
But what you`re going to get is several references from previous films. One key reference and a favourite of mine is the fight between Kong and a Skull Crawler, a massive monster that reminds me of a lizard. This scene reminds you very much of the scene in the 2005 version between Kong and the dinosaur, and several references from that film can be noticed within that sequence. It is nice to see references from previous Kong films, and break away from the new approach.
Each of the characters are portrayed well within the film, and I don’t think there was really one weak link of the cast. Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson are the two key figures who transpire towards the end of the film, with Samuel L Jackson`s character turning out to be rather the villainous character, who is out to revenge his men after Kong`s initial welcoming attack, and the Hiddleston and Larson`s characters out to stop them any attack happening. All the characters are very well played and each character is quite likeable. A special mention has to go out to John C Reilly, who`s character, an eccentric captain who arrived to Skull Island 28 years ago, adds something a bit different to the cast, and offers lightness and comedy to his role.
Kong: Skull Island is a film that I`m not too sure what to say about. I`ve seen a 3D viewing this evening, and will be watching a 2D version at the weekend. Perhaps my opinion will change after another viewing, but Skull Island, is not a bad film, but it`s not a great one either.
Film: Kong: Skull Island
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary, John C Reilly
BBFC Rating: 12A