Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Kong: Skull Island Review

Kong: Skull Island

Release Date: 9th March 2017 - Australia  

Production Companies 
Warner Bros. Pictures 
Legendary Entertainment
Tencent Pictures

Roadshow Distribution  

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 118 minutes

Budget: $185,000,000

Box Office Gross: $566,652,812 (Worldwide)

Plot Summary 
In the 1970s, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted but beautiful isolated island that goes by the name of Skull Island, in the Indian Ocean. 

They soon discover that the island hides a treacherous secret — it is the home of the gigantic and prehistoric ape known as King Kong, who possesses great strength and semi-human intelligence.

Tom Hiddleston - James Conrad
Samuel L. Jackson - Preston Packard
John Goodman - Bill Randa
Brie Larson - Mason Weaver
Tian Jing - San
John Ortiz - Victor Nieves
Terry Notary - Kong
John C. Reilly - Hank Marlow
Toby Kebbell - Jack Chapman/Kong
Jason Mitchell - Mills
Shea Whigham - Cole
Thomas Mann - Slivko
Eugene Cordero - Reles
Marc Evan Jackson - Landsat Steve
Will Brittain - Young Marlow/Marlow's Son
Miyavi - Gunpei Ikari
Richard Jenkins - Senator Willis
Allyn Rachel - Secretary O'Brien

Director - Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Based on "King Kong" - Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace
Story - John Gatins
Screenplay - Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly
Executive Producers - Edward Cheng and Eric McLeod
Producers - Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Thomas Tull
Co-Producer/Production Supervisor - Jennifer Conroy
Co-Producer - Tom C. Peitzman
Production Designer - Stefan Dechant
Creature Designer - Zachary Berger
Costume Designer - Mary E. Vogt
Director of Photography - Larry Fong
Stunt Coordinator - Spiro Razatos
Supervising Stunt Coordinator - George Cuttle
Fight Choreographer - Ilram Choi
Special Make-up Effects Supervisor - Jason Baird
Special Effects Supervisor - Florent Andorra
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor - Stephen Rosenbaum
Visual Effects Supervisors - Jeff Capogreco and Jeff White
Co-Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Robert Weaver
Additional Visual Effects Supervisors - Jason Smith and John Dykstra
Animation Supervisor: ILM - Scott Benza
Editor - Richard Pearson
Additional Editors - Bob Murawski and Christian Wagner
Music - Henry Jackman

It's been over a year since the original king of beasts was last seen on Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 classic. It proved to be divisive for newcomers and old-timers whom some of them were biased towards the 2005 version. Now the character has been retooled for the latest iteration of KONG: SKULL ISLAND and was meant to start a crossover with Godzilla from 2014's monster hit (click here) in their shared cinematic universe. I have missed several opportunities to watch the classic and the previous interpretations when someone insisted on me seeing another film instead. SKULL ISLAND is no longer taking the giant ape from a tropical island to the Big Apple in the 1930s and was now a survival-based film set in the last days of Vietnam War. It's different to the rest of the KONG films whereas this one has a vibe of APOCALYPSE NOW while incredibly entertaining with its action violence and laughter. 

Tom Hiddleston was remarkable at portraying the Harrison Ford-type figure in the film as it was a sideline from his known villainous portrayal of Loki. More prominent players that were featured include Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. The latter was acting as a marooned character who was a bit of comic relief to the heroes. Even Samuel L. Jackson was noted for good publicity when he portrays a vicious Colonel who is about to have a grudge against Kong. As for the ape-like titular character of the movie, he was nearly as good in motion capture back when he is originally portrayed by Andy Serkis in 2005. But he has now decided to go ape in another mantle on a similarly-themed series of PLANET OF THE APES.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND is in the thin wafers of characterisation and world-building, it's a semi-decent film. On a positive note, most people will be thrilled and find this version more enjoyable than Peter Jackson's polarising interpretation. You better go straight to the cinemas before it finishes screening.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie


  1. Nice review! I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this movie. Not perfect, but so fun! It's funny to me too that Terry Notary and Toby Kebbell were both also in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Knowing how to physically embody an ape is a good skill to have!

    1. Well, I can't believe you have given me this fact of irony.