Kong: Skull Island Film Review

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There’s something satisying about watching a giant ape attack people who are attacking his environment, or as John C. Reilly’s character (Hank Marlow) puts it “You don’t go into someone else’s home and start dropping bombs”  Kong: Skull Island is a beautiful mix of comedy and action.  Especially with John C. Reilly involved.  His character is the comedic relief that is needed when all seems dark and bleak.  We see joy and friendship at the beginning of the film before they get to the island, which is followed up almost immediately by death and destruction at the hands of the King for attacking his home.  As is the norm in a King Kong film, we see the giant befriend a pretty white girl and try to protect her.  I was listening to a podcast and it hit on a pretty interesting idea about this:  The King Kong films are racist.  A big, black ape and a pretty white girl.  On top of that, Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Preston Packard is an antagonist in this film and the camera shows something in his eyes that is a stereotype of black men.  You see anger and hate.  You see the desire to hurt and kill.  He portrays the “angry black man” stereotype to a T.  With him being the antagonist, you could probably guess how that ends.

Sexual tension.  Of course there is, it’s Hollywood.  Tom Hiddleston’s character and Brie Larson’s character (James Conrad and Mason Weaver, respectively) almost immediately have the sparks fly.  COME ON HOLLYWOOD, this is getting to be ridiculous.

This film is riddled with cliche after cliche, but somehow, they work for this film.  The aforementioned are but a few.  To find out about the ones that aren’t in the trailers, you’ll just have to watch the film.

The difference between this Kong film and some of the others:  We HATE him at first.  We see him as a towering monster capable of destruction on a large scale.  We find out more about our beloved “monster.”

The film uses long focus on the staredowns between Packard and Kong often enough that the audience sees the hate and disdain between these two and it also focuses on the respect that Weaver has for Kong and his feelings towards her (as is typical in King Kong fashion)

If nothing else, this film is a visually appealing film both in the environments seen and the use of camera movements to capture emotions and to leave the audience wanting more.  Sometimes wanting to see outcomes, sometimes wanting to just stay paused on the emotions, and sometimes just wanting more, but all in a good way.

If you go in excited, you won’t be disappointed, but you won’t be happy.  You’ll just feel meh.  The entire film was predictable, but still fun.

The thing that I’m excited about for this is King Kong vs Godzilla, as they are in the same universe and it’s been a long time in the making.

8.1/10

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