#JustWatched Kong: Skull Island (Jordan Vogt-Roberts, 2017)

April 7, 2017

Big dumb fun. Really enjoyed it. Full of Pacific Rim vibes. On paper it's got all the makings of a terrible film but, for me, it just works. If you know me well, you'll remember that I hated the first outing in this "Mosterverse," Godzilla. I thought it was poorly written, clunky and took itself way too seriously for a film about a giant lizard. Kong however, doesn't make that mistake. It knows it's ridiculous and it leans into it but still manages to pull off some tension and drama. It's funny, decently enough performed and I liked the artistic license the director has taken with the fast cuts, extreme close ups and bright colours. It doesn't always work, an example of this being Tom Hiddleston wearing a gas-mask in a fog of green gas and slicing colourful creatures with a samurai sword in the style of an commercial advertising 4K HD TVs. The soundtrack is good but it verges on Suicide Squad territory, setting up virtually every scene in the first act. Yes, we get it. This is set in the seventies.

 

There's some substance to the whole thing which I didn't expect. It plays on the Vietnam War a little too heavily sometimes but it makes for some interesting subtext for the characters. Kong looked great and the creatures were really well designed. The giant spider was terrifying and had be squirming in my seat as one of the marines was slowly being dragged up to its mouth.

 

Maybe it's because I went in with low expectations but this gave me what I needed. Pure blockbuster bliss.

 

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© Adam Gunton

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