Thanks to Marvel, Hollywood is now obsessed with shared universes and after the success of 2014’s Godzilla, Legendary brings us its second instalment in their ‘monsterverse’.
Kong: Skull Island follows a team of soldiers and explorers who travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific where they discover a world that is dominated by monsters, that includes the king himself, no not fat Elvis but Kong.
Indie director Jordan Vogt-Roberts gives us a stylized vibrant vision of this mystical island packed full of dangerous creatures that will have you on the edge of your seat as you wonder what beastie will strike next. Sprinkled with a Vietnam era soundtrack and man do we have a monstrous stew. With complaints that Godzilla didn’t show enough of the monster and instead concentrated on the human characters, pleasingly Skull Island has done the reverse. Giant monster movie fans will not be disappointed with the Kong action and he is the true star of this movie. This film honours and feels like a spiritual successor to the old school Kaijū films.
To its detriment, Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, two of today’s greatest actors, are not used to their full potential, however, Hiddleston does look great, in his second audition for James Bond after his TV series the Night Manger. With this more action heavy performance as former SAS Captain James Conrad (have you been hitting the gym Tommy?) we only really learn one thing about his character, he can kick some serious ass. Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly’s characters are somewhat more fleshed out with Jackson’s war mongering Lieutenant colonel Packard as our Captain Ahab to our furry primate Moby-Dick. Reily is brilliant as a World War 2 pilot that has been stranded on the island for 28 years.
If you want flat out terrific action that projects the awe and wonder of a mysterious monster island, Kong is the film for you. If you can see this in IMAX 3D it’s totally worth it. Basically, think Apocalypse Now meets Jurassic World, this action packed monster fest will not disappoint. Kong: Skull Island is out in NZ cinemas now.
Reviewed by Ian Wright.