Kong: Skull Island – 7/10

‘An uncharted island? Let me list all the ways you’re gonna die…’

I went into Kong: Skull Island knowing absolutely nothing about it apart from that there would probably be a big fucking ape making an appearance at some point. I was surprised to find that Jordan Vogt-Roberts film features an incredible cast, breath taking special effects amid a backdrop of extreme violence and Samuel L. Jackson liberally dropping ‘bitch please’ left, right and centre…

Bill Randa (John Goodman) is the head of a taskforce that recruits a team of scientists and soldiers to explore an uncharted island in the Pacific. Joining him are former spy James Conrad (Tom Hiddlestone), military leader Preston Packard (Sam Jackson) and war photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson).

The last person to tackle a King Kong movie was Peter Jackson back in 2005. That film failed for numerous reasons, the two most prominent being that the casting was all wrong (Jack Black anyone?) and also the fact that the eponymous monster wasn’t properly revealed until an hour into the goddamn movie. People don’t watch a King Kong movie to see Jack Black comically tripping over things for a whole third of the film before our guy even shows up. Kong: Skull Island goes someway to addressing both those problems with a stellar cast and unbelievable special effects that are properly utilized straight from the off. The Eight Wonder of the World looks incredible and the movies best scenes are the ones featuring Kong’s impressive rampages. The movie falls down somewhat in the quieter scenes.

The already mentioned cast are joined by John C. Reilly, Toby  Kebbell and Shea Whigham and yet the script they have been given is riddled with action movie clichés and inane dialogue. I suppose a movie that combines spellbinding action with compelling characters and a witty script is the holy grail but I expect a little bit more from my action heroes than “come with me if you want to live” or variations of.

It is refreshing though to see a big budget Hollywood blockbuster that isn’t related to DC or Marvel. If only the studios would be brave enough to give their American dollars to an original idea we might be left with something truly great…

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