Kong: Skull Island
review by Bobby Blakey
No matter how much time passes there will never be a time when fans do not want to see more King Kong. We haven’t gotten a glimpse of the big guy since 2005s King Kong and while it was met with mixed results there is no denying Kong was in full plane smashing mode. One of the most anticipated features hitting in 2017 takes us back to the famed world with Kong: Skull Island and now it is here, but does it do the giant icon justice or will it fail to make it to the top of the skyscraper?
Kong: Skull Island follows a team of explorers with a company of soldiers are following myth and legend in the Pacific amidst rumors of an island where creatures both prehistoric and monstrous are supposed to live in 1971. Soon they come across Skull Island, the very island of lore and legend. The creatures they soon come across make the soldiers and explorers running for their very lives. Soon Kong shows up to let all know that he is the King of Skull Island and top of the food chain. Will they survive to tell their story? Will beauty win the heart of the beast? The film features a great cast including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Jing Tian, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham and Toby Kebbell with Terry Notary taking on the role of Kong. I am a huge fan of all things King Kong so I was already excited for this film, but know that they were going to somehow attempt to create a new Monsterverse with the release of 2014s Godzilla. The trailer looked to be offering up something new for the big guy but it was so much more than I expected.
One of the coolest aspects of this film is perfectly captured by the Apocalypse Now themed poster. This film has no shortage of Kong, but plays up very much like a war movie of the time as well. The entire cast do a great job with each bringing their own special something to their roles. I love that there are so many different types of characters on this mission with each having their own agendas, but only one real villain and it might not be who you expect. The struggles to survive and the interactions make for a great story in between getting to see Kong do his thing. OF them all the real show stealer has to be the always awesome John C. Reilly. He offers up plenty of laughs and emotions to bring the most out there character of the entire film to the forefront.
While the stories and performances with the human cast are great, but the real star is Kong himself and he is glorious. They took a new approach to the design with it showing signs of the original version from 1933 and a bit of the Toho version. It offers up a cool take on Kong that I loved every time he was on the screen. They made sure to give him a great story that explains his actions and purpose without making it feel forced. They waste no time in letting you get a glimpse of Kong at the start and then allowed the story to unfold before fully unleashing him in the most epic way possible. Some of my favorite moments with Kong was seeing him just going about his normal day and doing random stuff. This gives him more character in turn makes you connect with him on a deeper level than just another monster. I loved everything about this take on the character right down to the finger prints you can see in detail on his hands. I was so happy that they went a new direction with his connection with Larsen as opposed to the classic variation making it feel like something fresh and new.
The setting of the 70s just added to the film along with the great soundtrack making it a perfect step in the right direction of this new Monsterverse. They have even offered up an awesome after credits scene that sets the tone of the future that just capped off an already awesome flick and made it all the more awesome. Get out and give Kong the support he deserves so we can get more of the Monsterverse unleashed upon us in all its glory for years to come.
In addition to the film this release also includes numerous bonus features including commentary, deleted scenes, and numerous featurettes that take you deeper into this world. Grab your copy of Kong: Skull Island on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on July 18th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.