‘Kong: Skull Island’ Review: Tom Hiddleston And Brie Larson Can’t Save This Monsterous Disaster

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source: Warner Bros. Pictures

King Kong’s return is neither exciting nor necessary

Monster movies have always been America’s most beloved films. Godzilla and King Kong have always been among the top ones people discuss when talking about such movies. They have been popular for some time and received many remakes and sequels some of which were completely unnecessary. Recently, movie-goers have been quenching their blockbuster thirst with superhero movies instead. However, with Jurassic World dominating the box office in 2015, it’s no surprise that Hollywood would once again remake King Kong in hopes of a future franchise.

While there may be room for other King Kong remakes, Kong: Skull Island just doesn’t certify the need. Going for the same colorful charm of Mad Max: Fury, the lastest Kong remake lacks in every aspect the prior shined. It fails to make use of its big name talent and Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ directing is the only exciting aspect of an otherwise dull and boring monster movie.

There have been rumors that an out of the ordinary eco-system exist on Skull Island and Bill Randa (John Goodman) and Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) want to go study it. They bring a photographer, Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), and James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) as well as the US army. When they arrive, they find out that a dangerous ape is residing on the island – King Kong.

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The A-list is completely wasted as they have nothing memorable to do – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

When Kong is first revealed, it is a magnificent piece of CGI. The big ape is stunning much like the apes in Dawn of the Planets of the Apes. It’s breath-taking to see such a well-made CGI character that looks and moves so realistic. The overall movie is pretty to look at. Jordan Vogt-Roberts is constantly thinking of ways to show you different aspects. All of his decisions relating to camera-work are smart. The scenes in which there is a perfect blend of CGI and on location shooting are beautiful. At times, Kong: Skull Island looks exactly like Mad Max: Fury Road – a colorful storm of eye candy. But on other occasions, the green screens and CGI are extremely noticeable and when there isn’t any consistency in the movie’s only strength, it poses a big problem.

When the film’s visuals don’t satisfy, and Kong isn’t on screen, the bland characters offer no alternative. The film tries to validate its big name talent without success. It’s not that Hiddleston or Larson are bad, it’s that the fast pace storytelling completely forgets to give them a reason for the audience to get behind them. When the movie tries to give them funny lines, it falls flat every time. Following these characters around feels more like a chore than a fun road trip. Hiddleston and Larson just don’t have the charisma to make the audience care.

Eventually, Kong: Skull Island feels like a cheap hollow chocolate. The chocolatey taste may be enough to satisfy the chocolate lovers but for everyone else, you have to accept that there’s nothing inside. Except for the stunning CGI Kong, the movie does nothing special and offers nothing new to the mythology. It doesn’t even offer enough monster action to keep someone interested for the whole movie. It’s surprising that Kong serves as a start of a franchise with the upcoming Kong vs. Godzilla movie. But if a film cannot sustain my interest for the first movie then how will they for a whole franchise?

GRADE: C-

Kong: Skull Island is currently playing in theaters in the US and Canada. 

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