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Kong: Skull Island
There are monsters among us. And if what you’re looking for is eye popping, easily digestible escapism, you might be perfectly fine with these oh so cinematic hairy beasts.
Well, yes, there is a story here: it beings with two rather nifty plane crashes, on a remote island, during World War II. Both the American and Japanese pilots survive and summon remarkable strength to try and kill one another by hand. Just when it looks as if the fight is over, the two hear, feel and see something even bigger, stronger and scarier than they are. Guess who?
We then flash forward to 1973. A scientific team, led by John Goodman, wants to check out a remote island (guess where?) and so a motley crew including academics, journalists and soldiers fly through hell, well, ok, a storm, to check out the place. At least that’s the plan. Before they can even emerge from the clouds, helicopters are plucked from the sky, slammed to the Earth and some of the less famous players meet their makers. Then it’s up to Sam Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly and the remaining gang to figure out what’s going on and how they can get the heck outta there.
The first half of this very expensive looking venture is quite fun: nicely shot, snappily edited and smartly acted to an almost consistently running soundtrack of classic rock hits. And the introduction of Kong is a sight to behold. There are, actually, a lot of sights to behold: the group at Industrial Light and Magic, and allied teams, have created some great looking stuff. I will say they may have created a bit too much of a good thing: under Jordan Vogt-Roberts direction, the film begins to drag in its second, effect/action heavy act, allowing it to become a bit of an overstuffed muddle.
But. This Kong, which, we are shown in a post-credit sneak, is only the beginning, sets things up nicely. Little monsters may be afraid of the big hairy ones on the screen, but others will most likely enjoy this wild ride.