Here is a movie that will end with you asking yourself one question: why did I just hand over ten dollars of my hard earned money and two hours of my life to such an unnecessary reboot? Kong: Skull Island assembles a wonderful cast of actors, tosses them into recycled action sequences, bores you to death, and is a complete waste of time and money.
Tom Hiddleston is paid to brood around the set, and play the storied action hero role. I liked him better as Loki in Avengers. Brie Larson just won an Academy Award for The Room, but she is given the role of “damsel in distress who steals the big fella’s heart”. It’s a classic Oscar win rebound role, so I hope she has something special planned with Captain Marvel. John Goodman gave one of the most overlooked performances of 2016 in 10 Cloverfield Lane, but there he is playing the supposedly crazy “geological” hunter of inhuman beings. Snooze-worthy. Samuel L. Jackson plays Samuel L. Jackson again, and there are mild benefits to that which drift away quickly.
John C. Reilly is the only one who didn’t run to the bank to cash his check, and actually breathes a little life into the role of the local Island kook who leads the trackers, photographer, and soldiers around to their imminent death.
Watching Kong: Skull Island is like playing a board game loaded with celebrity names, and the whole idea of the game is guessing when they will parish in the film. How long before Goodman’s character is swallowed whole by a large lizard looking creature? Will Jackson get stomped on? Will Hiddleton’s hair ever get messed up, or do we just need to know where he buys his hair gel? Was Larson paid per smile or did she just throw away a few pages of the screenplay where her character was something else other than human cardboard?
What about the big fella on the poster? Sure, Kong shows up and looks great, but the filmmakers flip the cards over on the poker table way too early with the famous primate. He wrecks the landing of several helicopters, smashes them out of the sky, and kills a lot of human beings before the audience is told again that, “oh it’s okay, because he simply has a problem with them walking into his home uninvited.” Please. By the time the characters go soft on Kong, and they watch him take on the jungle’s other top dog (that crazy looking lizard thing), your interest level is already in the parking lot.
Kong: Skull Island was an unnecessary reboot, revisiting, or whatever you call it these days. Peter Jackson’s epic opus/remake years ago, which told the classic story right down to the very end, was great and got it right. It was adventurous, action packed, original, and didn’t show the big guy for a while to build up anticipation. Here, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts recycles other action sequences from other films in order to make his film more enticing. Everything feels worn and used up, and while the end leaves the door open for more mayhem on Skull Island, I can only hope it stays closed.
Was it meant to be cartoonish? Sure, but that doesn’t make it a viable cinematic experience. I’d encourage you to take a chance on Logan if you haven’t instead of seeing this mess. Don’t pass up John Wick 2 again, because that has more creativity and bang for your buck than this regretful return.
Skull Island wastes a big name cast, shows off tired thrills, and left me wondering where I was going to find those two hours of time I lost. Thankfully, I didn’t pay a dime to see it.
I’ll urge you to save your money for something better.
(First published on ksdknews.com)