POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD
Shared Universe is an idea that studios are chasing a lot these days, ever since Marvel started theirs in 2008, everyone has been playing catch up to create their own. Now Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures have theirs now with Kong: Skull Island, following up to their first film in the Universe, Godzilla. I have to be honest I do not have high hopes for this film, especially with the last rendition of Kong back in 2005. However I might be proven wrong, let’s find out with this review.
With a plot summary from IMDB Kong: Skull Island is about “A team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore an uncharted island in the Pacific. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong. As their mission becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden.” The film stars Tom Hiddleston (Thor, The Night Manger), Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, Snakes On A Plane), Brie Larson (Room, Short Term 12), John C. Reilly (Boogie Nights, Step Brothers), John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane, The Big Lebowski) and many more and the film is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer).
I have to say I had a lot of fun with Kong: Skull Island, it was surprisingly entertaining. You can tell that the Producers have learnt from their mistakes in Godzilla. In Godzilla they shied away from showing the monster and as soon as a big fight was about to begin they would cut away from it and straight to a news report about it. However they don’t do that in this film, and they show the beast in the cold opening. I really liked the time setting of this film, with the backdrop being the end of the Vietnam War and you can tell which films heavily inspired this flick. One film that sticks out is Apocalypse Now. They pay homage to certain elements from Apocalypse Now with the helicopters blasting music as they attack and the use of silhouette with the beautiful sun in the background. Even though it may seem a direct rip off to some, it really works well in the context of the movie. Furthermore the choice of music is perfect for the scene. Additionally I should give a special mention to John C. Reilly in this film, because he really does steal the show. He adds a more comedic element to the film making it less doom and gloom. It may sound out of place in this sort of film, but with his comedic experience it works well with the tone of the film.
The biggest gripe that I have with the film is Tom Hiddleston. Don’t get me wrong he is a good actor, as he has proven that with roles in The Night Manger and Midnight in Paris. However I just don’t buy him in this as being this tough bad-ass former SAS soldier and tracker. He just doesn’t have that gravitas to pull it off and he doesn’t scream bad-ass. His introduction is slightly laughable and backs up the claim that he has been miscast in the film.
Overall I’d rate this film as Worth The A Trip To The Cinema but Don’t Rush. Even though it turned my opinion around on the film, it’s still not a must see film like Logan. However I still recommend it after the disappointment of Godzilla. Furthermore if you do see the film wait till the end for the post credit scene.