By Jose Jara
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
In Theaters March 10
By: Daniel Guzman
I went and took my 12 year old son to a classic monster movie last night. I seldom take my son to a film without having seen it previously just to prevent him from blaming me in the future from having scarred him mentally as a child. I was invited to see Kong: Skull Island and since I allowed my son to see Peter Jackson’s “King Kong”, I thought he would be a wonderful sidekick to this movie outing, which he of course was gung ho for. Kong didn’t disappoint my son or myself as we watched the film, but the film as a whole doesn’t break any new ground in the monster movie blockbuster genre.
When Kong and any other creepy creatures are on the screen the movie is a sure fire hit, but when the cast is involved the movie fizzles down. I didn’t grow up watching the original Kong films, or Godzilla for that matter, but I, like my son, did have one film to compare it to. Unlike the last King Kong film, Skull Island, has Kong being more ruthless when it comes to humans imposing on his territory. The film takes place during the end of the Vietnam War and the musical score to the film is very much spot on in making me feel like I’m back in that era. Also, atleast in this film Kong doesn’t make you wait for half of the film in order to show up on screen like the last Kong movie did to its viewers.
The problem in Kong: Skull Island is the characters don’t really develop or have enough in them for the actors to leave their mark. I was hoping to see John Goodman’s character be scene stealer or meaningful, but that never really happens. Tom Hiddleston has a role that seems like he would be pivotal in the story, but in the end he is pure fluff. Brie Larson, being the only lady in the story adds nothing more than being the iconic delicate flower that Kong admires and protects, yet doesn’t leave a vital imprint in the movie. John C. Reilly, who seems as he was hired to be the comic relief, does just that, but I was surprised to see that the film so much of its eggs into this characters basket than any other character in the movie. I enjoyed more of the side characters like actor Shea Whigham’s(Boardwalk Empire) role as a soldier along side his comrade Mills played by Jason Mitchell. Samuel L. Jackson as Kernel Preston Packard delivers his typical crazy loud mouth, take no prisoners act that you would easily custom fit Samuel playing.
The story takes flight in every action sequence that has Kong flexing his larger than life physicality on to his foes, whether human or mutations from skull island. If this would have been the first Kong film remake in decades, I would say that it was worth retelling, but given the previous effort from a better director in this genre, I think Kong is a film that you will enjoy for a moment and forget it the next.