Kong: Skull Island (2017) – Honest Review

If you’re a fan of big monsters, big laughs, and big budgets, Kong: Skull Island delivers by the boat-load.

Let me start by saying that I didn’t go into the theatre expecting much, because in my mind, nothing could top Peter Jackson’s earlier take on the beast, but as the film progressed I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

To begin, I cannot praise the cinematography and special effects highly enough, every monster, every wide shot from a chopper, and every engulfing flourish of fire was excellently made and the films editing team should also be highly commended for their efforts. It may be too early to tell, but I’m predicting an Oscar nomination in 2018 for the special effects which are without a doubt the films magnum opus.

This is the largest King Kong we have ever seen on the big screen, and while its personality isn’t quite as loveable as Jackson’s version of the beast, its mannerisms perfectly capture that of the old-school original of 1933.

As far as performances go, the majority of actors are good, though they are nothing to write home about, but I will particularly commend Tom Hiddleston, for his stereotypical “brooding British guy”, and Samuel L. Jackson for being that character we just love to hate, a trait that has served him well throughout his cinematic tenure. If I had to choose a standout, it would be John C. Reilly, who not only provides spades of personality, but also undeniably delivers the funniest lines in the film.

The main issue with this film is that some of the characters lack the depth required to form any real audience investment, it is easy to become invested in Reilly’s Hank Marlow, with his tragic back-story and heart-warming character climax, and to a lesser extent Jackson’s Preston Packard, on his villainous quest for vengeance, but as far as the rest of the ensemble goes, Kong: Skull Island leaves much to be desired in the way of character development.

In conclusion, Kong: Skull Island does exactly what it says on the tin, it delivers heart-pounding action, rampaging beasts, and light-hearted laughter, and will be one to watch for creature feature fans for years to come.

I rate this film: 8/10