The short answer to if the just released Kong: Skull Island is worthy is…yes. Having said that you might want to know what type of movie you will be paying for. I was lucky enough last evening to get to see a screening after work. The audience seemed split on their enjoyment of the newest film featuring Kong. I believe those that were feeling let down expected Kong to be the main character of the movie. It is Skull Island however as well as those stranded on it that are the main focus.
[Via] Jimmy Kimmel Live
Now I hope you won’t get me wrong. You will certainly get a healthy dose of the massive ape throughout the picture. I think that Kong is a force of nature – albeit an intelligent force of nature. It’s just like they say in that trailer – he serves as protector to Skull Island itself. Watching over the various forms of peaceful wildlife in addition to the few humans who manage to survive there. And let me tell you there are some really horrible things waiting for the unwary on the island – like the Skull Crawlers.
Also under the great beast’s protection are those that might be stranded on Skull Island. Case in point the majority of the cast of the film. And make no mistake about it – being trapped on Skull Island is literally one of the worst places you might find yourself.
I suppose this goes without saying. It is a very, very, very bad idea to come to Skull Island and try to pick a fight with the big guy. He may not hold a grudge necessarily but he will punish those that threaten the island.
I will attempt to go into a synopsis for the film, avoiding SPOILERS for Kong: Skull Island as best I can. At the very least I will attempt to stay in the range of what you may have seen in the trailers already.
The story for Kong: Skull Island concerns John Goodman’s character of Bill Randa. Along with his younger partner, Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), who work for the organization known as Monarch. The two men are attempting to pull together a group to investigate Skull Island.
You might remember the post I did for the fan made Skull Island trailer last month. I brought up what certainly looked like possible connections to this being a shared universe. While Kong: Skull Island takes place in 1973 there are ties to 2014’s Godzilla.
To survive the island the duo need the aid of both Tom Hiddleston’s expert tracker, James Conrad, as well as the military might of Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). This expedition is kind of hitching a ride with a scientific group and that is where Brie Larson’s professional photographer, Mason Weaver, comes into play.
This might be dipping my toe into SPOILERS but the end of the Vietnam War takes place shortly after the film begins. This is something that seems to weigh heavily on Packard – the need to feel he accomplished something in his career. This almost Ahab-like behavior as you might suspect is more dangerous than the creatures on the island. I feel it would be fair to say that Jackson’s character is the villain of the movie.
After coming into contact with Kong the survivors must trek across the island to reach a rendezvous point to escape. Along the way they meet a stranded World War II pilot named Hank Marlow – played by John C. Reilly.
The cast of Kong: Skull Island does an excellent job. I should point out though that both Reilly and character actor, Shea Whigham, manage to steal the show. While Hank is the kooky survivor, Whigham’s character of Cole brings an everyman quality to the part, Moreover his character is a career soldier – who rolls with the punches better than some of his fellow soldiers.
So in closing, if you go into Kong: Skull Island realizing the point of the film isn’t about wall to wall Kaiju vs daikaiju. Understanding the story follows the group of survivors more than that of Kong, I believe you will enjoy the thrill ride. I absolutely felt moments of joy on my viewing equal to the feelings I have when watching the 1933 original.
In addition, make sure to stay until the very end of the credits. Your patience will be well rewarded, friends.