Review: Kong: Skull Island

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King Kong is back and in style! While the new monster movie comes to theaters this week, we got to see the movie through a special premiere. Kong: Skull Island is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who also directed The Kings of Summer.

The overall tone of the movie is influenced by the PS2 game Shadow of the Colossus. You even get one of the monsters in the movie called Skull Crawlers, which is partly based on the Pokemon Cubone. Kong: Skull Island is part of an ongoing monster movie series that kicked off with 2014’s Godzilla.

The next entry will be Godzilla: King of Monsters, which is expected in 2019. Up until now, each Kong movie was based on King Kong being an American immigrant, who leaves his home and comes to the US. There he is exploited, tamed and eventually killed.

This time around, with Kong: Skull Island, the filmmakers have chosen to follow a group of researchers, soldiers, and documentarians, as they travel to Skull Island presumably for a mapping expedition. What is exciting to see is that the movie is set immediately after the end of the Vietnam War.

A small platoon of warriors are ready to get home, when they get a request to escort a group of researchers to Skull Island. Thus, they are rerouted from their trip home to serve as accompaniment for the adventure. The movie is filled to the brim with soundtracks from the ’60s and ’70s.

The movie shows how Monarch (the secret, monster-tracking agency introduced in 2014’s Godzilla reboot) brass Bill Randa (John Goodman), secures government approval for an uncharted island expedition – to Skull Island. Randa and his assistant Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) lead a geographical mission to the unknown island. They are escorted by Lieutenant Colonel Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and his helicopter squadron.

Ex-SAS Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) is hired as the group’s expert tracker, and photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) tags along for the story. Once on the island, they start dropping seismic trackers. This enrages Kong who stands stories tall, and is hell bent in defending the island from these intruders. One by one, Lt. Packard’s helicopter squadron is swatted from the sky.

Can the remaining survivors rendezvous in time and catch a ride off Skull Island? Or will Kong’s land of the lost swallow them whole? Kong: Skull Island is gorgeous to watch. The locations are amazing, the CGI is top-notch and the overall experience is mind-blowing. Through Kong: Skull Island, Kong is born anew. Watch it for the love of Kong!