FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Kong: Skull Island (2017)


I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Kong: Skull Island

Warner Bros. Pictures

In 1973 and in the midst of the Vietnam War, United States government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) hires former British Special Air Service Captain and skilled tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) to guide an expedition to map out the recently discovered Skull Island. Their military escort is a helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), who are joined by photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson).

As soon as the expedition is underway, specially designed explosives are dropped in an apparent attempt to learn more of this uncharted territory. But everything is not what it seems and it is not long until the assorted inhabitants rise—most notably, Kong, king of Skull Island…

The latest in a string of King Kong remakes, Kong: Skull Island may not offer anything new to the monster movie genre, or anything all that significant to the lead creature’s mythology, but it is quite easily one of the more entertaining to be made in recent years.

Make no mistake about it, the film relies on just about every narrative trope and character archetype the genre has to offer, but so what? Unlike Godzilla (2014), the first entry in the MonsterVerse produced by Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, and Toho, Kong: Skull Island actually features the titular character fighting a slew of menacing monsters in a series of exciting, bad ass action sequences. This is not to say that the humans do not get their fair share of the biffo; Hiddleston, Larson, and an obnoxiously patriotic Jackson’s collective and respective screen time are not wasted.

With real-world themes weaved into the mix with as much subtly as a sledgehammer, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts delivers a good-looking, exciting, and suitably paced action caper starring one of cinema’s most loveable monsters. 4 / 5

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary, John C. Reilly.

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts | Producers: Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni, Alex Garcia | Writers: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly (Based on King Kong by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace) | Music: Henry Jackman | Cinematographer: Larry Fong | Editor: Richard Pearson

Available: DVD and Blu-ray

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!



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