First appearing in 1933, Kong is back with its 8th instalment with ‘Kong: Skull Island’ that, if you can forgive some of the bad dialogue, does a good job in establishing a new universe for the inevitable Godzilla Vs Kong film already green lit for 2020. Kong is impressively recreated here with some realistic CGI and some great action scenes but its a pity the rest of the film just doesn’t have the same wow factor and stumbles to catch up to the brilliance of the visual design.
Following a group of scientists and military personnel on an expedition to an uncharted island in the Pacific, the characters soon discover that Kong and a host of exotic and deadly creatures live on the island and scramble to escape. After crash landing, they have to try and find a way to the North side of the Island in less than 3 days or risk being stuck there forever. It’s a pretty standard plot that does a good job of setting up the action set pieces with the different creatures on the island but the dialogue really drags the film down.
Despite an all star cast featuring the likes of John Goodman, Brie Larrson, John C. Reilly and Samuel L. Jackson, the dialogue is not good and Samuel L Jackson’s character in particular is about as formulaic of a villain as you can get. Set in the 1970s, fresh off the war of Vietnam, the military soldiers are depicted as standard war-mongering fodder but the Captain, Samuel L Jackson, is so over the top in his character motivations and lust for war, that it defies belief and actually really detracts from the film in my opinion.
Despite all this though, ‘Kong: Skull Island’ is an enjoyable film even with its flaws and is worth a watch if you want to see where the monster universe is heading. The CGI is impressive, the climactic fight is very good and it does build nicely into the inevitable film to follow. It may not be as good as Peter Jackson’s 2005 adaption, but this Kong holds its own and is a solid entry into the franchise.
Verdict - 7/10