FILM REVIEW | KONG: SKULL ISLAND

In an ultimate battle between man and nature, Kong: Skull Island tells the story of a group of scientists and soldiers who explore an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. It quickly becomes evident that this will become a mission of survival, and they must escape not only Kong himself but terrifying monsters that also inhabit the island. Though the dialogue is poorly written and the characters present are very one-dimensional, its undeniable that Kong: Skull Island achieves its main goal: entertaining its audience.





Written by Becca Johnson

In an ultimate battle between man and nature, Kong: Skull Island tells the story of a group of scientists and soldiers who explore an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. It quickly becomes evident that this will become a mission of survival, and they must escape not only Kong himself but terrifying monsters that also inhabit the island. Though the dialogue is poorly written and the characters present are very one-dimensional, its undeniable that Kong: Skull Island achieves its main goal: entertaining its audience.


The star-studded cast is the most notable element of the movie at first glance. Having the likes of Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L. Jackson teaming up to fight monsters makes for an exceptionally fun watch, with some quotable one-liners and memorable laughs. The performances from the entire cast are great, carrying the movie with ease. The addition of John C. Reilly adds some much needed cheesy humour, perfect for a creature feature. Samuel L. Jackson steals the show, adding some sassy humour here and there, yet also being somewhat evil and war-driven as he stops at nothing to kill Kong.


As capable as the performances are, they don't quite manage to mask the lacklustre script. No character has enough development to allow the audience to fully attach and get on board with them. The character writing is incredibly thin, particularly for Brie Larson's character who is sometimes forgettable and merely there to take photographs. The dialogue and interactions between characters are very mediocre, leaving much to be desired. Kong: Skull Island is very plot focused which is pivotal in action-based movies, yet the lack of depth in the script really holds the story back from resonating with the audience on a deeper level.

That being said, the story is highly engaging and comes together well. A group of people joining forces to battle a giant monkey is always going to be fun, yet the post Vietnam War setting helps to give the story some edge and a fresh, unique feel. The change in perspective is masterfully achieved, as the audience realise there may be a greater evil present than Kong himself. We are introduced to Skullcrawlers, a species of reptilian predator that have invaded Skull Island. This makes the man vs monster battle even greater, and the stakes even higher.


The elements that make a successful creature feature are all present. The CGI is very well done, not just on Kong himself but on the Skullcrawlers and the island as a whole. The creatures look great and the setting looks great, altogether making for a believable experience. Skull Island is turned into a very immersive place with bright colours, giant skeletons and a great scene involving green smoke. What the whole movie boils down to is the final battle, which is nothing short of a spectacle. Many argue that Skull Island gives us Kong at his very best; it is hard to deny the power put across as Kong battles the Skull Crawler in a giant monster face-off.


Kong: Skull Island is a poorly written movie. The cast are great, but unfortunately even a pool of talent this large cannot mask underdeveloped and one-dimensional characters. However, the action is frequent and engaging, the CGI looks fantastic, the story-line is captivating, and the movie is paced well and rounded off with an epic final battle. It's safe to say that director Jordan Voigt-Roberts wanted to create a two hour long fun experience that allows the audience to sit back and be entertained, and he without a doubt achieved this.