This review contains mild spoilers
It feels like a legacy; there’s no way a King being knocked down by men in his own jungle, and so does King Kong in this reboot. Despite appearance of the prominent names; Academy Award winner (Brie Larson), Asgard‘s mischief god (Tom Hiddleston), and S.H.I.E.L.D‘s director (Samuel.L Jackson), Kong is the spotlight of the entire movie. He’s God’s creation beyond God Almighty. Big thanks to the CGI effect, the main reason why Kong: Skull Island becomes among our best cinematic experiences.
An intriguing opinion about King Kong is regardless of his mythical status, his appearance always feels real as if apes once grew as large as he is. And to relate more with this opinion, King Kong has always been portrayed to posses human intellect and emotion. As a result, he’s conscious of his anger when his habitat is bombed by the expedition team led by Packard (Jackson). He naturally reacts to situation in which requires him to do so, thus is hardly blamed for being too protective. There’s no way Godzilla can compare him on these aspects, making Kong look humane despite his brutal act has been killing so many men. And just like we expected, Kong’s humanity comes out the most when Larson’s character, Mason Weaver, captures his capacity of emotion. So it’s always about Beast meeting his Beauty and intrigued by romance, isn’t it?
Kong: Skull Island opens up with a brief introduction of men finding an isolated island resembling a human skull on a satellite photo. It was in 1940s, however, remains a rumor until 1973. It’s William Randa (John Goodman) who insists that an expedition must be done before more information is disclosed by other parties. Following Randa is the team led by Packard (Jackson), an ex-war captain (Hiddleston), and an anti-war photojournalist (Larson). Little do they know that Randa is hiding a secret himself acknowledge, turning this expedition into a nightmare they don’t anticipate. There’s actually no human villain but another gigantic creature called Skull Crawler. However, unlike Kong, Skull Crawler is a brainless monster which brings threat to the island from time to time. Is this the secret Randa so naively keeping everyone out from?
We’re excited to see that Kong: Skull Island is full of spirit and contented with fun even during the May Day, May Day situation. We’re so drown in excitement that we didn’t see Kong coming, giving a wake-up call to our mind that Kong can never be underestimated. It’s through the music played on the radio, particularly the bang-on Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, turning Kong’s bloody battlefield into a sort of adventurous playground. To be precise, it’s actually a chain reaction of natural selection process which requires everyone a No Hard Feeling policy. Unfortunately, Packard falsely understands thus becoming an annoying yet necessary troublemaker for Kong to reach the climax.
Kong: Skull Island has so many elements to sell despite few of them falls short before the movie ends. The dialog and the character development are bland that we hardly praise any lead, except for Larson who fits the 70s tone naturally perfect. The cut-fill method fails to cover up the plot holes and we apparently find this effort is unnecessary. However, the plot is quite a dynamic and successfully maintains every fast pace in suspense, creating problem after problem which intermittently strengthened every time Kong appears and makes noise.
If Kong: Skull Island aims to emphasize Kong in all aspects, then this movie succeeds. Not only we watch one of the most spectacular giant monster fights but also understand more of Kong’s background and his thought towards human civilization. Therefore, one must lead and protect in order to sustain the living, and surprisingly Kong completely understands his nature call. It takes place mostly in Kong’s jungle which has no Empire State of Building to create another dramatic ending, yet the scale between towering Kong and his modest environment is always convincing. It’s beautiful and grand as well as mysterious and merciless, which is seemingly well-prepared for any type of Kong’s mood.
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Toby Kebbell, Samuel.L Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Jing Tian, Thomas Mann
Duration: 120 mins