Kong : Skull Island – Review by Jez Gibson

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Monkey magic is back in our multiplexes.

 

Monkey feels a little derogatory to describe the magnificent, referentially god-like specimen resurrected for this latest Kong enterpretation.  We’ve got the big action bucks on display here, a badass Samuel L Jackson mixed in with more thespy character types like Tom Hiddlestone and Brie Larson. Larson is a great actress who the camera doesn’t need to dwell on quite so incessantly for more than just her acting capabilities. It’s as if a teenage boy broke into the editing suite whenever Brie gets some screen time.

 

If you imagine Jurassic World set to a 70’s soundtrack with Apocalypse Now nods throughout, you know where you are with this. It looks amazing, it sounds amazing, and ultimately is a real thrill in the cinema. You won’t find that it will have the same heft on a smaller screen.

 

Hiddlestone and Larson have presence, but are acting by numbers and putting in a shift. Both are competent but ultimately forgettable like so many of the characters in this version – different to Peter Jackson’s film. CGI and cinematography are first rate including our new Kong, the Island and some of the less friendly inhabitants. Kong’s main monster nemesis looks great but is also instantly forgettable.

 

If you know that you just like this kind of film; if you liked previous Jurassic Parks or Godzillas, this is no slouch despite these reservations. There is some wrought action on display that kicks in almost immediately, however this film does not have what it takes to stand the test of time.

This could have been a lazier, predictably average reboot, but does beat it’s chest a little harder than that.

 7/10 – A visually stunning popcorn fuelled rollercoaster ride, let down mainly by poorly drawn characters and actors who aren’t given the space to really let go.