Movie Review: Kong Skull Island (2017)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2017 movie starring Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson.

Synopsis: As the Vietnam War comes to a close, a monster hunter convinces a U.S. Senator to back an expedition to a newly-discovered island. Escorted by a US helicopter squad and guided by a former member of the British Special Air Service, his team of scientists penetrates the perpetual storm that hides the island only to find their lives in danger from a giant ape and the reptilian creatures it is at war with.

Review

My oldest daughter (who has watched plenty of classic monster movies with me) wanted to see this film when it first came out. So, even though I wasn't anxious to spend money on it at the theater, I added it to our Netflix queue and we finally had an opportunity to watch the film last night.

I'm a bit undecided about whether or not I liked this movie as much as the original or even as much as the 2005 remake. But, overall, I do feel as though this movie was worth taking the time to watch.

One thing I really appreciate when it comes to modern-day movies is originality. In an era when Hollywood seems obsessed with re-makes and sequels, it is always refreshing to see someone make an effort to be unique. And, this movie does fit into that category.

Sure, the film is technically a re-make/re-boot too. But, while the movie maintains some of basic elements that made the original film a classic, it manages to change the story just enough to make it its own film.

I found I especially loved the storyline involving Samuel L. Jackson's character. He reminded me a lot of Captain Ahab from Moby Dick because of his obsession with finding and killing Kong, even if it meant his team of soldiers would never get off the island alive. This, among other things, kept the movie from becoming too predictable because his character was such a wild card.

I'm glad the filmmakers decided to keep the entire movie confined to the island, something I always felt was the best part of the first film and remakes, rather than drag things out by bringing Kong to New York again. However, I'm still a bit undecided about the decision to cut out the iconic damsel in distress story and, instead, limit Kong's interaction with Mason Weaver (Larson) to just a couple scenes. Granted, the movie probably didn't really need that. But, it just doesn't seem like a King Kong movie unless he takes a woman hostage.

Final Opinion

As I said before, the 1933 original and the 2005 remake were likely better. But, this version of King Kong is just unique enough to be worth taking the time to watch at least once and I would recommend it as a result.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 01/28/2018, StevenHelmer
 
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