Kong: Skull Island
|Kong: Skull Island|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jordan Vogt-Roberts|
|Based on||King Kong
by Merian C. Cooper
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Edited by||Richard Pearson|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, from a story by John Gatins and Gilroy. The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchiseand will serve as the second film in Legendary‘s MonsterVerse, Godzillafollowing. It stars an ensemble cast consisting of Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, John Ortiz,Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notaryand John C. Reilly.
Principal photography began on October 19, 2015, in Hawaii. Kong: Skull Islandpremiered on February 28, 2017, in London and was released in the United States on March 10, 2017, in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D and in Dolby Cinemas. Upon release, the film garnered massive acclaim from critics and audiences with many praising the action sequences, the visual style, effects, stunts, humor, writing, direction and Kong’s design and return to the cinema as well as the acting.
In 1973, former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) is hired by government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) to guide an expedition to map out an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean known asSkull Island. Randa also recruits the Sky Devils helicopter squadron led byLieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) to escort them to the island, and the group is soon joined by pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), who believes the scientific expedition to be a cover for a crooked military operation and plans to expose it.
Arriving in Skull Island, Packard’s men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) to determine if the ground is hollow, despite Conrad’s objections. The helicopters are suddenly attacked by a 100 foot tall ape known as “Kong“, and the team is separated in smaller groups. The survivors’ only hope for rescue is a resupply team that will meet them at the island’s northern end in 3 days’ time. Packard confronts Randa, who reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch and the expedition’s true purpose: to acquire proof of the existence of monstrous creatures that have been forgotten by humanity. Packard and his remaining men bury their dead and begin searching for the missing members of the expedition, chief among them being Packard’s right-hand man, Major Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell). While trekking through the jungle, the men are attacked by a giant spider, which slaughters several men before Packard shoots it to death.
Meanwhile, Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin (Jing Tian), soldier Reg Slivko (Thomas Mann) and Landsat employee Victor Nieves (John Ortiz), among others, run into the local natives and meet Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), an American pilot who has been stranded on Skull Island since World War II. Marlow explains that Kong is the island’s guardian and is worshiped as a god by the natives for protecting them from the Skullcrawlers, reptilian monsters that live underground and have slaughtered Kong’s ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. Marlow reveals Kong only attacked the helicopters to prevent the bombs from awakening “the big one”. When informed of the pending rendezvous, Marlow says there is no possible way to reach it in time on foot, but luckily for the expedition, he has cobbled together a boat from the wreckage of his plane and is able to get it working with help from Conrad’s group.
Amazing special effects have made movies like this possible. Kong is awesome to behold, as are many of the other creatures found on Skull Island. The plot wandered from the traditional King Kong, in that they never bring him to America and he never gets fixated on the damsel. We saw this one in IMAX 3D, and I have to say, it was worth the price of the premium ticket. This is not your mother’s King Kong, but it made for a great date movie. 4 stars. – MR