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Kong: Skull Island (Final Review) [SPOILERS]SwagFlicks Fun fact: Eazy-E and Dr. Dre reunite.
Alright, enough sugarcoating. I've been excited about this movie.
I've been a fan of monster movies ever since I was a child, for around eleven years now. I've seen movies like Godzilla, Tarantula, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and I enjoyed all of them. But my favorite was the first version of King Kong. The special effects used in that film were fantastic, the acting was solid, and as a four year old, I was absolutely f*cking amazed by the plot. While the love story between ape and girl was cheesy at some moments, the way everything unfolds kept me interested all the way through.
So when I saw that there was a reboot of Kong, I was interested. When I saw the trailer, I knew I was going to see that film before I died. It had Kong beating down military helicopters, excellent cinematography, and what seemed like solid acting. And Samuel L. Jackson was in it, and I f*cking love his acting. And when I went to see the movie...
I haven't had a theater experience that good in probably my entire life. Throughout the entire film, I was on the edge of my seat, and my nerves were wracked by some of the greatest action I've ever seen in a monster movie. It definitely beats Peter Jackson's mediocre take on the Kong universe. But enough about my experience with the film, let's actually talk about how good the film is.
The plot is vastly different from the usual "Let's go film a movie on the island with 1930s equipment". It starts off in WWII, with a Japanese pilot and American pilot crash landing on a beach. They then fight each other until Kong comes and roars in their faces. It then cuts to the main plot, where there's an military expedition to find what's on an uncharted island surrounded by a perpetual storm that's been avoided for centuries. Once on the island, the 13 helicopters sent to test if the earth below them is hollow (they do this by basically bombing the earth below them) are all taken out by Kong. One guy is devoured, the others are either blown up or crushed by Kong. The story then is about the survivors trying to get to the rendezvous point so that they can get off of the island, all the while avoiding pterosaur-like creatures that carry you away and sever your limbs; a giant spider that has hands; and these lizard-like creatures that the natives on the island refuse to say by name. As the film progresses, it's revealed that Kong's family was wiped out by these creatures, and he's the last of his kind. If Kong dies, the biggest of these creatures awaken, and that's bad. The military squadron (led by Samuel L. Jackson), doesn't seem to realize this until they attempt to kill Kong by setting him ablaze, and that awakens the big one. It turns out that Kong survived the fire and he goes on to fight the monster. Before doing so, he gives Jackson his karma by crushing him before he has the chance to detonate explosives that will kill Kong. The end result is Kong ripping out the creature's guts through its mouth, essentially saving the humans that are on the island. There's also somewhat of a side plot of this missing person trying to find the others, so that he might have a chance of getting back home to his son, but he ends up lost and subsequently devoured by one of the creatures. There's also a callback to the original plot of the film with Kong saving Brie Larson's character from drowning, while also protecting her in the fight with the adult lizard-like creature. So yeah, it's a great story. Easily one of the most gripping plots I've seen in years.
The cinematography is incredible. I know that modern films have better equipment and editing, but it blows my mind even by those standards. The long shots of Kong destroying the helicopters in the beginning are easily some of the best footage I've seen in a monster movie, the way that John C. Reilly's character ends up seeing his son and wife, which is seen through somewhat of a 70s style filter is absolutely heartwarming, and the view inside the perpetual storm is absolutely intense.
The special effects are amazing as well. The creatures that Kong are fighting are presented in such a way that they leave me legitimately terrified. They do give some frightening jumpscares, which is kind of the main reason my nerves were wracked (I saw this in 3D). The other creatures shown in this movie do actually remind me of a surreal prehistoric time, with their behavior kind of cementing my opinion. It's a great show of special effects, and I can say that it lives up to expectations, especially considering that the original had this kind of miraculous avant-garde feel to its special effects.
The acting, to be honest, is the least interesting part of the entire film. Now don't get me wrong, the way Jackson, Reilly, and John Goodman portray their characters is absolutely outstanding; but the rest either ranges from incredibly convincing yet underdeveloped (see Whigham's character), to there not being a need for them (see Tian's, Larson's, and a little bit of Hawkins' character). Still, in general, the performances by the actors are entertaining and well delivered.
Overall, if you're looking for a deep story, you're not going to find one. If you're looking for an action packed monster movie, you got one right here.
This is SwagFlicks, and I'm done reviewing.
Way to go out with a bang! - ProPanda
*applause* - WonkeyDude98