Weekly Movie Review: Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island; weakly written, but impressively shot

Hollywood is a big fan of sequels and remakes. They help to minimize the substantial financial uncertainty most movies present at the box office. In addition to the aforementioned category of films, some characters are so legendary they can spawn quasi sequels and remakes for decades. A movie featuring one of Hollywood’s most memorable characters opened this past weekend.

Set in the 1970s, at the end of the Vietnam War, Kong: Skull Island is the story about a group of explorers hoping to examine an uncharted island in the Pacific. After pleading and begging a U.S. senator for assistance from the government to make their exploratory dreams a reality, the men are given the go ahead. Prior to making the trip, several are recruited for their expertise in survival, combat and photography.

Upon arrival to the island, the oversized monkey doesn’t exactly provide the warmest of welcomes. A few explosions and a couple of deaths later and the group are separated on opposite ends of the island. It soon becomes apparent King Kong isn’t the only gigantic creature stomping around on the island. While several characters prove to have ulterior motives, the group finds themselves in a fight for survival from the cadre of massive mythological creatures.

While King Kong and the other beings are epically strong, the story is similarly weak. For starters, the characters are incredibly underdeveloped and the only one the film makes any real effort to flesh out isn’t introduced until about halfway through. There is some semblance of a cohesive story, but it’s extremely obvious that’s not where the filmmaker’s interest resides. Instead, the film’s focus is on the gargantuan creatures and their many destructive battles.

On the positive side, the film’s cinematography is something to behold. Especially in the early portion of the film, there are some nicely put together shots. The way in which the film beautifully incorporates red and blue hues helps to separate this film from other similar such films.

King Kong: Skull Island is a weakly-written film, but its likable cast and impressive cinematography are hard to overlook. 3 out of 5.