Review: KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Welp, they were predicting a “soft” opening for the new King Kong flick this weekend. As is not an infrequent occurrence, “they” were wrong. KONG: SKULL ISLAND performed way over expectations (to the tune of about $20 million over) although admittedly it still has a way to go to earn back its enormous price tag. (It cost something like $185 million to make. If you’ve seen it, you know why. Those special effects are stunning, and the film is packed to bursting with ‘em.) Don’t worry; it will get there. But did the movie DESERVE to be a hit? Is it any GOOD, in other words? A grown-up Monster Kid like me is guaranteed to love it regardless, but I can set aside my fanboy-ness and be objective. Looking at it as an unattached observer, then, a dispassionate viewer, what is my honest opinion of the film?
KONG rocks. ROCKS.
In any film featuring a giant monster as its star, the human characters, the supporting cast, if you will, get less screen time (and understandably so), but the script does a good job of pumping air into them. They aren’t just paper dolls, there to be stepped on or to run and scream. They each have distinct personalities, although the “minor” characters, the soldiers, are better fleshed-out than the two leads, Brie Larsen and Tom Hiddleston. Of the “big name” players, Samuel L. Jackson’s is the best, the most realistic, the most complex, the most relatable if not the most likeable. (John C. Reilly’s character comes in a close second, and he IS the most likable.) The script is solid and the locations are gorgeous—but the real selling point is Kong and the other monsters. There are no weaknesses, there. You go into the theater wanting Kong and you get him, lots of him. It’s a beautiful thing.
And yes, if you haven’t already heard, there is an after-credits scene. DO NOT LEAVE before the credits are over. You’ll hate yourself if you do.