Kong is King

By Justin McKinney, Staff Writer

There isn’t too many ways to spin it, Kong: Skull Island was an absolute blast to watch. If you are looking for a deep Oscar-bait film then save yourself some time and don’t buy a ticket. However, if you are seeking a thrill ride of action and adventure filled with ridiculous monsters, then the bus stops here my friends.

For those who don’t know, Kong is the second installment in Warner Brothers’ new Monsterverse, which includes the Godzilla movie that was released two and a half years ago. The studio is attempting to combine the Kong and Godzilla universes in a film set to come out in 2020 that would serve as a sequel to Kong: Skull Island and third installment to Godzilla as the second film is set to be released in 2019.

While the film certainly had a different tone than Godzilla, it was a fantastic installment to the Monsterverse. Being that the Kong film is set in 1975 at the close of the Vietnam War, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts felt that the film should reflect that. I personally felt that the film was a combination of themes from movies like Platoon and Full Metal Jacket, combined with classic adventure films like Indiana Jones.

It may seem like an odd mix but when one takes into account the film’s historical setting along with the fact it takes place almost completely on an uncharted island filled with giant creatures, it fits perfectly.

It is certainly all strung together by the films stellar soundtrack that is spearheaded by hits from Credence Clearwater Revival along with other Vietnam-era groups.

Even with stellar direction a film is simply nothing without its cast and Kong had one for the ages. Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Marvel Universe’s Thor and Avengers movies, is the lead as former special operations solider who guides the group through the danger of Skull Island.

While I really wasn’t impressed with Hiddleston as Loki, he blew me away with this performance.

He was bad ass, he was funny, he was even-tempered, he was cunning, and he was everything you want your leading guy in an action film to be. As strange as it may sound he reminded me of Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he killed it. I also really liked the chemistry that him and co-star Samuel L. Jackson had together.

Jackson was cast as the leader of U.S. Army Calvary Helicopter unit that was sent to Skull Island to back up Hiddleston and his civilian crew. While Hiddleston’s character remained cool and calm, Jackson was a live wire. Jackson’s character evidently is bitter about the outcome of the Vietnam War and has some serious PTSD.

It was real, he wasn’t ready to leave the war and his actions on Skull Island reflected it and brought a certain realness to the film, while also complimenting Hiddleston’s character, which I loved.

Along with these two the rest of the cast delivers on the same level, this film did not have a character that I didn’t like. They all contributed, they all had a valid role, it all fit like a puzzle.

While I do give the cast a ton of credit, the writing for this film was on point as well. In a lot of action films today you see horrible writing that not even the best of actors could save, Kong shatters that stereotype.

It was funny, it was intense, it was just plain conversation at certain points but as you watched it all made sense and it kept you glued to the screen.

While the film had stunning visual effects that people expect from action movies, that wasn’t why I was watching. I was watching because the plot was genuinely interesting and the writing was great, Kong: Skull Island knocked it out of the park and I highly recommend it.


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