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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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Kong: Skull Island is a continuation of the Monster-verse epic Godzilla, and a predecessor to the planned King Kong vs Godzilla rumored to be coming up for 2020. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, was a surprising choice for the film since to me he is known for the coming of age indie flick Kings of Summer. Taking the helm on the new depiction of the Kong universe will definitely help in his rumored upcoming directing of Metal Gear Solid. Since the 30’s classic film, King Kong emerged, it has been a source of inspiration and replication, as we’ve seen with Peter Jackson’s own take in 2005’s King Kong. In Vogt-Robert’s film, and with the plans on the eventual battle with Godzilla, the creature was made to be of a much larger build than we are accustomed to seeing, and much less docile.

Kong: Skull Island rounds up an impressive cast, who is utilized in each of their niches. For example, we have Tom Hiddleston as worldly explorer/eye candy, Samuel L. Jackson as the raging antagonist, and among them and many others we also have John Goodman, and Brie Larson, whose character I wish had had more screen time. The size of the ensemble, and the immense ground covered during the film, made it difficult to become emotionally invested in any member of the team. However, the comedic relief, and my favorite part, John C. Reilly, allowed for levity and more connection. My other favorite part was the soundtrack; many good jams were utilized.

In the midst of the Vietnam War the team pursues the charting of an undiscovered island, and of course Kong’s home turf. Goodman, in charge of this mission, requires a military escort, led by Jackson. With the involvement of the military, the mission now becomes less about scientific discovery and more so about the government getting their hands on the territory by any means possible. This involves the disruption of the wildlife on the island, of which Kong is the protector. In the team’s introduction to Kong, they are at odds as he rips apart their mission in order to protect his home. This leads the two to an ill advised and misplaced war, as they soon meet an even worse monster.

The theme of the film can be said to be nature vs industry, or science vs corrupt power, which is a very poignant perspective at this time. We are currently faced with an administration at war with science and nature. The American people are fighting against their own representatives who are abolishing many environmental standards and acts. Nature does not just exist for our exploitation, and like many movies have tried to show us, we cannot win against it.

Skull Island takes good advantage of the updates to visual and special effects since we’ve last seen a Kong reincarnation. It is also another showcase of how the industry is becoming more accepting in allowing indie filmmakers to write and direct studio blockbusters and franchises. This brings a more creative mind to the usual cliched big budget films we are so accustomed to, and it helps add more character that was lacking in the usual films of this size. All of the writers of Kong have an impressive background in films of this type, but also had independent roots. I wish they had allowed the film to take its time a bit more, in regards to character development, but for an action film it is still formidable and more exciting than the usual blockbuster.

Kong: Skull Island
Director:  Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Studio:  Warner Brothers
Genre:  Action Adventure
MPAA:  PG-13
Release Date:  March 10th, 2017
Author:  Roxy De La Rosa
Roxy de la Rosa Roxy and her dogs are San Diego natives all hailing from Baja. She is a graduate of SDSU with a bachelor's degree in Television, Film, and New Media Production. Roxy is a huge comedy film and sitcom fan who hopes to become a TV writer, but for now she spends her time "researching" Netflix when she should be writing.

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