There’s no secret that Kong: Skull Island had nothing in common with the three previous versions (1933, 1976, 2005) but the ape’s name and the location’s name. Everything else is completely different and somewhat fresh to us, probably not so much to Japanese audience, as they made multiple films with Kong either as a protagonist or as an antagonist. Anyways, it’s a completely new take on one of the historical and beloved Hollywood’s characters.
This time, the story doesn’t revolve around getting something unique and never before seen for the sake of entertainment, rather scientific reasons by getting to know whether or not monsters exist.
The movie takes place in the ’70s, right after the Vietnam war was ‘abandoned’. A government funded expedition requested and conducted by Monarch takes a bunch of soldiers, scientists and other personalities on Skull Island, which was found thanks to satellites. Of course, things don’t go as smooth as it was planned.
To me, Kong: Skull Island is the best blockbuster of the year so far, and probably one of the best ever made.
This film is a blockbuster because is fast paced, action packed, maybe too simply but still carefully written providing a very enjoyable experience for the audience, which is exactly what we asked.
Yet, this flick offers a look at the great eyes of director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and cinematographer Larry Fong, who seems to reach higher heights away from Zack Snyder.
The movie’s look in fact is awesomely artistic compared to the genre standard. Every frame literally tells a story and gives life to all characters, otherwise not enough detailed. The color palette choice is also precise and distributes the right emotions to us spectators. The director has the very significant feeling to know when to run and when to temporize, knowing when to have the character’s emotion evolve the story. Vogt-Roberts is aware to have a top notch cast of both very established actor and young yet promising talent, so he gives them the chance to showcase a little but enough to highlight themselves. Also the opening, while being very standard for this kind of movies, offered an interesting starting point, as well as the opening credits.
The whole time we have the feeling that of a thoughtfully crafted production, where the filmmakers ideas were heard and not forcefully stopped. Maybe is Legendary what’s missing from the DCEU?
Anyways, the flora and fauna of the island is clearly aimed to give a credible enough connection within the MonsterVerse, and it’s not as prehistoric as the Peter Jackson’s movie, but more aimed to the sci-fi/fantasy (probably one of the only times where both terms fit) we saw in 2014’s Godzilla.
The only thing that is a minus in this movie are the characters. The script in fact doesn’t focus on one, and we can’t really find a protagonist. The star studded actors give a good performance anyways (thanks to the eye and philosophy of the director like I said before), but it’s undeniable there’s something missing. Yet, it all highlights Kong, played in motion capture by Toby Kebbel (here in a double role) and his majesty, so what the hell?
As I already said, in terms of continuity is the same universe of Gareth Edward’s Godzilla, a movie which was criticized to be too slow pace wise and confused script-wise, as we ended up not caring about the story of our main characters at all (beyond having Bryan Cranston die almost immediately).
I personally think Kong: Skull Island should be the reference for all the future movies in this franchise, as they could become a very valid alternative to what is as of now a Disney monopoly.