Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Critic Consensus: Offering exhilarating eye candy, solid acting, and a fast-paced story, Kong: Skull Island earns its spot in the movie monster's mythos without ever matching up to the classic original.
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Critic Reviews for Kong: Skull Island
There's enough material out there to fuel a string of reboots, but the swing toward diminishing returns has already begun.
It's fun to watch the [monsters] in action, but on the human side, the film is clumsily written, over-cast and underacted, with only frustrated soldier Samuel L. Jackson striking the right tone of crazy amid the chaos.
The action and special effects are mostly first-rate and Vogt-Roberts maintains a vaguely satiric tone that sidesteps schlockiness.
Creedence Clearwater Revival thrums on the soundtrack - has any '70s movie managed to avoid it? - but when the giant spiders start stomping, Vogt-Roberts earns the right to blast "Run Through the Jungle."
It is the platonic ideal of big, smart-dumb B-movie filmmaking - and, like Kong himself, it must be seen to be believed.
Audience Reviews for Kong: Skull Island
Skull Island doesn't even try to go the "white woman on Empire State Building" path but instead offers a wild, violent and funny survival monster movie with lots of monsters, action and carnage. The actors are great and create interesting characters, especially John C. Reilly rules every scene he's in. The film doesn't even try to be more than a huge monster mash, there are few subtle tones, but plenty of great effects, creepy beasts and locations. When it comes to a fun ride and monster screen time this film wipes the floor with the most recent "Godzilla". It'll be interesting to see how their big meeting will turn out in a couple of years. The post-credits scene already hints at it.
Kong: Skull Island is a mindless popcorn flick but it's still pretty entertaining. This is a lot less ambitious than previous interpretations. Kong's noble savagery is still apparent, but the main thrust of this action is little more than monsters run amok. The original fantasy had a self-contained plot with a poignant message. This entry exists as an intro to a beast that will go on to star in more installments. That modifies the narrative in a pretty significant way. In more cosmetic changes, the production is envisioned as a period piece as it moves the time frame back to 1973. 70s rock music blares on the soundtrack as helicopters loom in search of a mysterious figure in the jungle. Allusions to a certain Francis Ford Coppola directed war film are deliberate. Yet, I'm still not sure whether it's intended to be so intellectually shallow. I suppose there's joy in the simplicity of just the spectacle. Let's put it this way, the less you think about it, the better it gets. fastfilmreviews.com
World building has become a big thing for Hollywood lately. Marvel specializes in character crossovers and other studios seem to be following suit. Whether it be the rumours surrounding the joining of G.I. Joe and Transformers, the already growing DC extended universe, or the new and upcoming monster-verse, it's pretty clear that we are in the age of shared universes. Kong: Skull Island isn't necessarily a crossover event by any means, but its sole purpose is to set-up a supposed Kong vs. Godzilla film in the coming years. As a film itself, I'm not quite sure it lives up to the hype that everyone has been placing on this film. Sure, the visuals are breathtaking and the cinematography is pretty great, but the film itself is quite the disappointment overall. Here is why I believe Kong: Skull Island is disposable popcorn entertainment at best. Following a team of individuals as they travel to a mysterious never-before-explored island, they discover the beast of King Kong. Trying to survive while also realizing that he may not be the monster they all fear, a new threat begins to arise, for both Kong and the humans. Sound familiar? That's because this story has been done many times with all of these elements present in some shape or form. The main issue is the fact that it gets right into the action, showing him mere minutes into the picture. Giving no sense of fear, this film jumps right into the action, leaving very little time for character development. Although there are a few compelling character moments, they are too far and in between one another to be remembered. Like 2014's Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island has an even larger array of disposable characters. The effort was much stronger here, as many of these characters have their moment to shine, even though they try to give even the least developed characters a moment to shine, which falls completely flat. To add to these complaints, there are endless jokes that fall flat. There is quite a bit of humour that is attempted here, but most of it comes out of nowhere and seems desperate. Aside from John C. Reilly, most of the actors seem to be trying really hard to make audiences laugh, which bugged me immensely. Kong: Skull Island is undeniably beautiful to look at, but there are clearly some moments of an overuse of CGI. When it comes to films like this, that's obviously to be expected, but when you are connecting yourself to a film like Godzilla that has much more impressive visuals, there will be some issues in the connection. To be fair, the action involving the titular character was absolutely awesome, and like Godzilla, worth the admission price alone. Throughout this film, I found myself more interested in seeing the action, due to the fact that these characters were around to crack jokes and get killed. That being said, you do have to wait quite a bit for that to occur. In the end, Kong: Skull Island isn't quite the masterpiece that the trailers make it out to be. From the incredible cinematography (which is present in the film), to the awesome fight sequences (which are also present), most of the note-worthy moments are used in the trailer. With disposable characters, a plot that is very thin, and a titular character that doesn't quite have enough screen time to fully please fans, I honestly can't recommend rushing out to see this film, unless you are a huge fan of this genre. Kong: Skull Island benefits from a solid cast, a few great action sequences, a stunning look to the titular character, and a very fun third act. That being said, this film is pretty much a letdown on everything is promises. There is some fun to be had and it's not a bad film in any way, but a film like this could have been so much better.
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