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Review Kong: Skull Island (2017: Kong is King!

genre: kaiju, action, adventure, fantasy, science fiction

Hollywood has attempted to make a few Kaiju films and only a few of them have succeeded in bringing what fans of the genre want. All the Hollywood versions of Godzilla failed miserably including the last Godzilla (2014) film with Bryan Cranston which apparently is tied to Kong: Skull Island. I did not know this before going in and I probably would have given it a lot of thought whether to go watch this in the cinema or not. All I was hoping this would be something like Pacific Rim and I am very glad to report that it has more in common with that film than Godzilla (2014) which is very good news.

Now I have read some reviews where people rage on how bad it is. I don't know where to begin with this kind of criticism. It's a freaking monster movie. Naturally it is going to be bad since in essence all monster movies are. But the good kind of bad meaning fun. You aren't supposed to take it seriously. At least most of it. Kong: Skull Island surprisingly takes some jabs at American politics and warfare and points some things out that are very relevant today. However they are never in the way of the action and spectacle. In some occasions they even add some comic relief especially when John C. Reilly's character is confronted with current affairs. Speaking of John C. Reilly. He easily steals the show when it comes to the human characters. Next to be being a somewhat funny and goofy person he is quite the badass and if you think about it you would have to be since surviving this Island full of giant monsters must be very difficult. Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman are dependable like always but for some reason aren't giving it their A game. It doesn't matter much since this film is all about Kong. Even when he is not on the screen he is the one who is talked about and is he being established as the good guy. Naturally like all the people in the films dealing with King Kong feel different and have very little love for the big fella. But that is quite alright since Kong knows how to counter them. And how. We get to see Kong in all his glory relatively early on in one of the most spectacular action scenes ever put on screen that involves a giant ape. Everything about this scene is memorable. Just thinking about it warms my heart. This is what monster movies should do. Don't waste our time with only showing us the aftermath or little glimpses of the monster. Show us everything. Kong: Skull Island does exactly this. And while this film is far perfect for this fact alone it deserves a lot of credit. Of course the human characters won't seem that compelling or interesting after Kong. But honestly, humans in monster movies usually are there for one reason only, to be eaten or killed. It simply would not work to if all these characters were given depth or too much sympathy since last thing we want is to care about them. We are supposed to be on Kong's side remember? If you aren't of this opinion then you have no business watching Kaiju films even the American ones. Still Kong: Skull Island does manage to make have sympathy for some of the characters like Hank and even Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad. Don't worry, he is not doing any of his infamous impressions. That is horrific in it's own right. Besides ain't nobody got time for that.

Kong: Skull Island is flawed for sure since it doesn't move as fast as most contemporary movies. However it never feels slow or boring. On top of all the film delivers all the goodies fans of the genre want. So bring it on Monsterverse! Keep making them like this and I am game!

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