Where Myths and Science Meet

Kong: Skull Island

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham, Corey Hawkins, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell, Richard Jenkins, Thomas Mann

The allusions to Apocalypse Now and Joseph Conrad’s novel The Heart of Darkness are rife in newcomer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts action packed seventies set adventure film Kong: Skull Island.

Featuring an international cast including British actor Tom Hiddleston, Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room), John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly and Tian Jing (The Great Wall), Kong: Skull Island wastes no time on characterization or dramatic build up but rushes straight into an adrenaline filled action film set at the end of the Vietnam war in 1973.

With a retro seventies soundtrack to match, Bill Randa played by John Goodman and Houston Brooks played by 24: Legacy’s Corey Hawkins get the go ahead from Senator Willis briefly played by Richard Jenkins (Eat, Pray, Love) to assemble a  military team and journey to a mysterious storm ridden island in the South Pacific on an exploratory mission.

The team consists of soldiers hanging for some more action after the American withdrawal from Vietnam including Preston Packard played by Samuel L. Jackson and Cole played by Shea Whigham (American Hustle) along with anti-war photographer Mason Weaver played by Larson and golden boy James Conrad, played by Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World).

As they approach Skull Island and drop seismic charges on the lush and malignant landscape, the team soon discover that a massive beast is guarding the island from vicious lizards. That beast is King Kong, that giant gorilla last seen on top of the Empire State building with a blond in his palm. Reference Peter Jackson’s 2005 epic King Kong.

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts cleverly wastes no time in cutting straight to the action as various teams on the island are separated only to be individually preyed upon by a variety of nefarious creatures including giant spiders. While Packard and his band of mercenary soldiers are keen on annihilating Kong, Mason and James stumble upon Hank Marlow, a crazed but good natured World War II pilot who accidentally landed on Skull Island back in 1944 and never left, even befriending the silent locals who worship Kong as their sole protector.

Marlow is superbly played by character actor John C. Reilly, a role clearly referencing Dennis Hopper’s frenetic photojournalist in Apocalypse Now without the looming intensity of a Mister Kurtz watching over his horrific empire. Reilly brings empathy to the role of Marlow, another clear reference to The Heart of Darkness and advises the more sympathetic team that Kong is not that bad. A fact which is vividly illustrated by Mason Weaver’s wonderful encounter with the gigantic beast.

Brie Larson gives a resilient performance as the only strong female lead in a basically all male film and has the best screen time with Kong, realizing that much like those brave soldiers hunting Kong, they are all as confused about this rapid reversal in the environmental food chain.

Kong: Skull Island is unadulterated adventure, punctuated with cool photographic stills of exotic ethnography to capture a unique and terrifying experience where myth and science meet.

With the help of a groovy seventies soundtrack and a stand out performance by John C. Reilly, Kong Skull Island gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10. Highly recommended viewing.

 

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
March 2017
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • China Unveils Golden Rooster Awards Nominees, to Surprising Jibes
    China has released the list of nominees for its upcoming Golden Rooster Awards, a set of government-approved film industry prizes that it wants to be seen as rivaling the Taipei-based Golden Horse Awards, historically considered as the “Chinese-language Oscars.” The winning Roosters will be announced amidst a film festival running Dec. 28-30 in the port […]
    Rebecca Davis
  • ‘Pen15’ to End With Season 2 on Hulu
    “Pen15,” Hulu’s comedy series created by Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, will end with its second season. The remaining episodes of the now final season will debut on the streamer on Dec. 3. A Hulu representative confirmed the news to Variety, stating that Erskine and Konkle “feel the story they wanted to tell has come to an […]
    J. Kim Murphy
  • Music Industry Moves: Berklee Establishes Al Schmitt Engineering Scholarship
    Berklee College of Music has established a scholarship named after Grammy Award-winning engineer Al Schmitt. The fund was created by the school’s Music Production and Engineering Department and seeded with a $50,000 gift from the endowment fund of former Berklee faculty member Wayne Wadhams, who played a key role in building the department, beginning in […]
    Shirley Halperin
  • Gotham Awards 2021 Winners List (Updating Live)
    The 31st annual Gotham Awards is a key stop in the awards season marathon, especially for lower-budget indies looking for some traction for the Oscars race. However, not every likely Oscar contender found itself up for Gothams, including “The Power of the Dog,” “Tick, Tick… Boom!” and “The Harder They Fall,” as they exceeded the […]
    katieesong
  • Muse Entertainment Hires Alex Jordan to Serve as Senior VP of Production
    Muse Entertainment Enterprises has tapped film and TV vet Alex Jordan to serve as its new senior VP of production. Jordan, who starts on January 1, will be based in Toronto and focus on producing programming for the international market. Jordan most recently served as a producer on Paramount Plus’ “Mayor of Kingstown.” He also […]
    varietyschneider
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90