Does Kong: Skull Island live up to all the hype about this upcoming Warner Bros. film? The short answer is, "sort of." Warner Bros. is in the process of creating its own "monster" universe, with the previous Godzilla film being the first of a long series – they hope. While Kong: Skull Island is better than Godzilla, it still has its flaws.
The Good Things about Kong: Skull IslandAs implied by the good folks over at Collider, a movie like Kong: Skull Island has to be taken on its own merits. While far from a perfect movie, it does actually provide many of the things that the average moviegoer would expect from this kind of film. For instance, Kong: Skull Island has an amazing cast, including Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, and Tom Hiddleston. In fact, it's interesting that so many current or future Marvel alumni are in Kong: Skull Island. After all, Hiddleston was Loki, Jackson was Nick Fury, and Brie Larson is going to be the next Captain Marvel.
Another good thing about this film is that – unlike its predecessor Godzilla – the fight scenes actually show the monsters in questions fighting. One of the most annoying things about Warner Bros. previous monster movie was that every time Godzilla started to smash something or fight someone, the camera cut away to an interior scene of somebody talking about it.
In Kong: Skull Island, the fights are full-screen, fully lit and amazing. In this area at least, Warner Bros. latest addition to its monster movie universe succeeds in a big way. And the CGI in this film is fantastic, which is essential for this kind of movie.Another area where Kong: Skull Island succeeds is in its cinematography and landscapes. Watching this film, the moviegoer feels immersed in a fully realized fantastical island on which virtually anything could be expected to turn up. In this area, the movie somewhat resembles Jurassic World.
And the filmmakers also provided extremely scary and threatening monsters and other creatures on the island for Kong to fight. This harkens back to the far less expensive and less realistic Japanese monster movies of the 1950s and 60s, with massive fights between huge creatures towering over human beings.
The Bad Things about Kong: Skull IslandUnfortunately, one of the problems with Kong: Skull Island is that the characters are fairly one-dimensional and pretty much stay that way throughout the whole film. There's virtually nothing in the way of character development, despite the solid performances by the first-rate actors in this movie.
One character that is reasonably interesting is Bill Randa – played by John Goodman. At one point he says:
This planet doesn't belong to us. Ancient species owned this earth long before mankind. I spent 30 years trying to prove the truth: monsters exist.As for the bad in the movie, there's also the problem that the trailers are a bit deceptive when they suggest a good deal of uproarious humor in Kong: Skull Island. While there are tiny bits of humor here or there in the film, there's not that much and what there is isn't all that funny. Of course, in reality most people probably aren't going to a movie like this expecting it to be slapstick comedy.
While Kong: Skull Island wasn't everything we might have hoped for, it still provides solid entertainment and the kind of monster battles that were missing from Godzilla. Hopefully, when the inevitable clash between Godzilla and King Kong takes place in the future, Warner Bros. will have fine-tuned things even better to create the perfect monster movie.
[Featured Image by Warner Bros.]