Kong: Skull Island (Review)
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I remember watching King Kong as a child and being amazed at this giant gorilla so it's funny seeing it now as an adult and even more so having to think about it in much more depth and reflecting on it in this review.
Former British Special Air Service, Captain James Conrad, a skilled tracker is hired by U.S. government agent Bill Randa to guide an expedition to map out an island known as "Skull Island". Randa also recruits the Sky Devils, a Vietnam War veteran helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard. The group is soon joined by pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver.
Arriving on Skull Island, Packard's men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to determine if the ground is hollow, despite Conrad's objections. The helicopters are suddenly attacked by a 100 foot-tall bipedal ape known as Kong, and many are destroyed, with the survivors split into two groups. The survivors' only hope for rescue is a resupply team that will meet them at the island's northern end in three days time.
I was pleasantly surprised at the opening sequence. I wasn't expecting it to start so dramatically but I actually thought the focus and later character development was beautifully cyclic and the perfect start to the climactic nature of the whole films very being.
When the initial character came back in I was in awe. I thought it was a really cleverly written script with shock after shock. I loved how he provided us with the information needed to understand the island. I thought of him as almost a narrator of the whole film but a much needed one to draw everything together and minimise loop holes.
I think it's important to note that you don't need to have watched any of the previous films to see this one. Despite it's name it is a complete stand alone film and on top of that it has a unique storyline.
It's so nice to have another path taken by the films directors and writers. Instead of being the story we all know and love, there is a twist to the tale and we learn the truth behind Kong. It's actually weirdly emotional to hear about his life and how much he does for the local island dwellers. I loved the addition of their characters because despite the lack of vocalisation, I thought they powerfully communicated especially with the location and backgrounds.
The graphics and film locations were genuinely stunning. You couldn't have asked for anything more from the setting point of view. Towards the beginning of the film, there were a lot of little scenes to introduce characters and recruit people for the mission. It was nice to see how detailed the sets were after spending so little time there. But the island. The island was stunning. It was so pretty and perfect and just beautiful. There were so many different and unique ecological systems on the land mass and they were each created for specific niches which I loved.
Skull Island turns out to be such an isolated ecosystem and as such, it has allowed the creation of lots of other big creatures. I actually think that makes much more sense than the traditional image of just one giant gorilla. All the different creatures are incredible.
It's actually nice to see a deeper plot to the King Kong story. Instead of humans and Kong being at war it's actually a complete turn of events, making this version of Kong unique and stand out.
I have to admit, there were multiple times I jumped during the film but never more than in the battles with the underground creatures triggered by the humans bombs. I couldn't help but think about how the movie translates to real life. Humans are destroying the very planet we need the most and it really does make me sad that we as humans take advantage of technological developments and use it to interfere with different populations that are perfectly safe beforehand.