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Kong Skull Island (2017) Review

kong-skull-island-2017-review

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Running Time

118 minutes

Director

Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Writers

Dan Gilroy (screenplay), Max Borenstein (screenplay) and Derek Connolly (screenplay); John Gatins (story)

People who are also in Marvel movies

4

Sooner/later or later/sooner, you knew King Kong would get the prequel treatment because there’s money to be made. If you’re like me, you’ve had sleepless nights wondering about Kong’s previous life before he got forcibly taken to New York (Ben Carson would call him an “Immigrant”), and eventually shot down by (bi)planes.

Honestly, I’ve never thought Kong needed a prequel as the ’33 original and Peter Jackson’s excellent remake (you know, before he made the Hobbit quintilogy into one of the century’s greatest snoozefests), and even that one with Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange seemed more than enough to assuage your Giant Monkey With no Genitals fetish.

Then again, I never thought about how people got the plans to the Death Star and Rogue One turned out to be a very good movie.

Q: Would Kong: Skull Island follow (Man in) suit?

A: Sure. Why not? You (more or less) get what you pay for…

Regurgitating the plot seems pointless, as all you’re really waiting for is the moment when it all goes to hell (like in those Jurassic Park movies).

But I’ll do it anyway because I know you when you go to see something like Kong: Skull Island all you really care about is plot.

Synopsis

The Year is 1973. The sideburns are huge and the disco music is terrible. The Vietnam War is ending, ushering a new era of peace and cooperation throughout the galaxy.

What a perfect time for Monarch (a corporation referenced in another monster movie from 2014) head Bill Randa (John Goodman, not really playing a good man *pause for raucous laughter*) and his Blerd (Black Nerd) Assistant Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins – Dr. Dre from Straight Outta Compton and that 24 reboot I heard isn’t very good) to hit up a Senator Willis (Richard Jenkins) for permission and military transport to the mysterious Skull Island.

Before you can say “WatchootalkinaboutWillis!!!”, Senator Willis reluctantly gives the ok and you’re left wondering why Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins is only in one scene.

Randa tells Blerd Brooks he’s there to seek out new wildlife, but you can tell he’s hiding something because his eyes are all shifty and he’s got Resting Villain Face.

We immediately go into the gathering up the crew montage- We’d better get a good look at them now, since most of them will be dead. Unless you’ve got top billing.


Summary of the Important Characters (the ones who probably won’t die unless it’s to heroically save the rest of the character actors)

  • James Conrad (Tom “T-Hiddy” Hiddleston)- Former British Special Forces. He’s hired as a “Tracker”, whatever that means. Compared to dating Taylor Swift, tracking a huge monkey is a piece of cake. That was the obligatory Taylor Swift ex-boyfriend reference
  • Mason Weaver (Oscar Winner Brie “Bri-Hiddy” Larson)- She bucks gender stereotypes by having a traditionally male name and penis. She’s a war photographer. You can tell because she holds a camera.
  • Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson)- He’s gonna kill this m********n gorilla if it’s the last m********n thing he does
  • Jack Chapman- (Toby Kebbell- the Mo-Cap actor not named Andy Serkis) - He plays rather pointless human character named Jack who just wants to get back to his son (READ: He’s so dead) as well as the voice of Kong

There are about a half-dozen other characters played by reasonably known character actors, but we don’t care about them because they will soon be dead. Except for that random Asian female character that seems out of place in a movie set in the 70s and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was digitally added as some blatant attempt at political correctness.

Skull. Not Skrull.

Skull. Not Skrull.

Anyway, they’re all flying to Skull Island when (wait for it…) it all goes to hell.

From out of nowhere a gigantic ape appears and begins swatting choppers out of the sky. Thank goodness only the unimportant characters die.

Our remaining characters are left to wonder WTF just happened and HTF they’re going to get home. We just hope it’s not doled out in horrible chunks of exposition that stop the movie in its tracks (SEE: Suicide Squad, then UNSEE: Suicide Squad).

But it’s not just Kong they have to worry about, as Skull Island has an apeload of other creatures, and they’re not monkeying around.

*ominous music swells*

  • Kong’s opening assault on the choppers is efficiently executed by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. It’s a pretty intense sequence that’s surprisingly set so early in the film.
  • Kong and Friends- I loved the monsters in Peter Jackson’s Kong and was worried this version would just be a cheap knockoff (like the Hobbit was to LOTR) but was assuaged by the first appearance of the Conway, and then the Spicer and then the Bannon. Scary stuff. Oh yeah, stay through the credits and see a tease to the next Marvel movie, I mean, monster movie.
  • Of all the human “characters”, only Oscar Nominee John C. Reilly is given an actual part to play and you can tell he’s having fun with it. Even if it does sometimes feel like he belongs in a different movie.
  • La La Land winning Best Picture.
  • I meant Moonlight Winning Best Picture.
  • (spoiler) Sam Jackson’s character saying “Bitch Please” in a movie set in the 70s. F**k Anachronisms, it’s Sam!
  • As I alluded to before, Oscar Winner and reluctant Casey Affleck hugger Brie Larson does nothing but hold a camera, though I do like how her presence informs, um, Kong’s future relationship with women. Maybe next time the writers can give the girl something to do besides, well, nothing.
  • Toby Kebbell’s awful attempt at a Southern accent. It’s barely a step above Keanu Reeves in The Devil’s Advocate. Barely.
I have HAD IT, with these motherfluffin apes on this motherfluffin plane...of existence

I have HAD IT, with these motherfluffin apes on this motherfluffin plane...of existence

Overall

If you’ve seen Get Out and Logan already, there’s nothing that should stop you from enjoying a mostly diverting monster movie that you’ll easily forgive for not being better. If you’re having trepidations about visiting Kong: Skull Island, bitch please.

Buy Kong Skull Island here!

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