I was one of the ones who liked Godzilla (2014), but understand it had its problems with character development and lack of Godzilla throughout the film. Godzilla as a character was executed very well in my opinion. This is the second entry in Warner Bros & Legendary Pictures now title “Monsterverse” that explores the mythical creatures of Godzilla, Kong, Mothra and more and puts them in a Marvel Studios type cinematic universe.
With Kong: Skull Island I really enjoyed this film. There was a lot of great usage of color as well as camera angles that made the story telling more interesting. The cinematography, production design and creature design are very original and very well established in CGI rendering and the detail. In comparison to the 2005 Peter Jackson “King Kong” film, they had an island of dinosaurs and pre-historic creatures which now seems antiquated as an idea. These creatures seemed legendary, inventful and well realized which made it seem fresh and new.
The villains of the film are pretty one note but that doesn’t deter the film from being the adventure theme park style that it is. Samuel L Jackson of the US Military and John Goodman of MONARCH both do their job of making the plot move forward and sometimes feel a little mustache twirly, but it never makes the film unlikeable. Jordan Vogt-Roberts does an excellent job of making feel the adventure and giving the crew of people on the island a lot to go up against without it being too overly complicated or hard to follow. Kong was established as good as Godzilla was in his own film. He had a much better creature design that didn’t feel the same as the previous Kong film.
Kong’s a pretty good king. Keeps to himself, mostly, but you don’t go into someone’s house and start dropping bombs unless you’re picking a fight.
There were many moments during the film that just felt like a painting. As I mentioned early, I was at awe at the amount of creative experimentation that was used by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and I hope that his style of making films is appreciated for future blockbusters. I would also say the production company, Legendary Pictures, helps this film with having a title credit sequence that mimics 2014’s Godzilla to make it all feel like the same universe without ham-fisting it. MONARCH is very much a S.H.I.E.L.D like organization (of the Marvel MCU) to connect the films. The character that John C Reilly plays had some great scenes and moments throughout the film. He was the heart of the movie. Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson were underdeveloped in comparison to John C. Reilly — I wish they had more backstory told.
My only harsh negatives with the film only revolve around the character development & dialogue. Some of it feels off and doesn’t quite fit the tone of what’s happening in the scene. I know that character development isn’t always expected in monster movies like this but there could have been some added so there isn’t as much mystery behind the characters. I did feel the movie had a lot going on in it, that to add a lot of dialogue/exposition to develop the characters would have almost overkill. They could have cut back on a few characters so it didn’t have divided attention. There were also a lot of red shirts being killed off Star Trek style. Death was a frequent visitor to Skull Island and it almost got tiresome but not awful. The diverse cast is such a strong highlight in comparison. You have someone from basically every background and it worked. It felt more real.
Overall this is a great summer popcorn adventure film. If you’re craving for a good time at the movies with a film that’s like a theme park ride this is definitely a must see.I feel that this universe is off to a solid start. The only improvements it needs are characters we care about. I would also highly recommend seeing it in 3D. It really worked for me; 3D doesn’t always work and I prefer to see blockbusters in 3D. Last, stay till the end of the credits! There is a tease for the future of the Monsterverse.