Kong: Skull Island & Monsterverse (Part One)

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Kong: Skull Island is the second in Warner Bros “Monsterverse” reboots, the first being the 2014 Godzilla reboot, and one of many monster movies to come.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited as all hell for these monster reboots. The moment concept art started floating around for Skull Island, I was in. Introducing a new generation of audiences to our favorite monsters is definitely something I am down with. We’ve also got the “Dark Universe”, starting with The Mummy. 

But first, let’s talk about Kong.

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Now, I’m ambivalent towards reboots most of the time. When done well, I like them, and Skull Island was done particularly well. I think that Jordan Vogt-Roberts did exactly what he set out to do, and that was to make a beautiful action film, with Kong being the main focus. Rather than a beast and beauty story, this is one of discovery and violence.

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The film takes place in the 1970s, just after the Vietnam War ends, and a team of scientists and their military escorts have gone to an uncharted island to hunt monsters. Underpaid paranoid cryptozoologists? I’m in. Let’s go to the island. They are also joined by a tracker named James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and a photographer named Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), who I believe were meant to be our main characters.

Herein lies the major problem with the film: It went way too fast.

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I can honestly tell you that I didn’t remember a single name of any character in this film. I forgot them all mid movie. This isn’t to say that the characters weren’t memorable, but rather that the speed of the film didn’t allow enough time to truly get to know many characters. Hiddleston and Larson’s characters (the action hero and the viewer) arguably were meant to be the main characters, but they didn’t feel very genuine.

We don’t have enough time to get to know them, but almost every soldier with a speaking part, I felt for (let’s be real, John C. Reilly stole the show). They had personalities and comradery on their side in this movie, whereas the team of scientists and our action heroes fell flat.

Boy, was this movie gorgeous though.

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You know, if you’re going to be on a weird island where a giant gorilla is a resident, why not have an even weirder ecosystem? Non-birds with blue guts in green mist, let’s DO THIS.

Every color was bright and deep, and they didn’t use a whole lot of grey. Even during nighttime sequences, the colors pop. This effects team deserves some major raises because the detail on Kong was incredible. You could see every hair, every line in his hand, where his fur was matted with blood, I could go on.

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Overall I’ll give Kong: Skull Island a 7.5/10.

In part two I’ll cover what we know about the upcoming Monsterverse and Dark Universe projects. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. All my social media links are on the main page. I would love to talk about movies with you, so make sure you leave a comment or hit me up on twitter.

 

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