Kong: Skull Island review.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND

There’s a moment, in the first third of this film, that almost redeem any flaw it may happen afterwards. Through the fire, after the most outstanding lesson Samuel L. Jackson’s character has ever learnt, two monsters face each other, hate flaming the screen even more powerfully than fire itself. It’s the creation of an archi-nemesis, and visually, it’s perfectly shot and acted. It’s a point of no return for both characters, one will die before the film is over, and that’s crystal clear since this scene. So it’s no wonder who will kick the bucket as we all know who of them both, has a franchise starting…

That’s the problem with Kong: Skull Island in the end. The same than most franchises. We know who the star is, and who must survive in the end… everyone else is killable, and I must confess, I’m quite surprised by the amount of characters that survived this one, and even by some of them, that beforehand looked D.O.A. by the screenwritting-made-easy manual.

The film itself is entertaining – even if it slows down a couple of times in the middle, something that made me watch the running time on IMDB, just in case, this was going to be another overblown epic running up to three hours (it doesn’t it’s just 120 minutes including credits and post-credits scene), but it’s certainly quite stupid. The art of convenience and the “ex-machina” are here and the suspension of disbelief is required… but most of it can be forgiven for how beautiful and spectacular the film looks, and how thrilling some scenes are (seriously, I didn’t see the spider coming and made it a truly disturbing moment, that somewhat reminded me of the giant-bugs scene in Peter Jackson’s “King Kong”).

The cast is full of Marvel MCU: Nick Fury, Loki, Captain Marvel and a Nova Corp as comic-relief and at the same time, emotional anchor of the whole thing. And yeah, we got the latest Fox’s Dr. Doom also. It somehows work, and surprisingly, is Hiddlestone the one that shines the least out of the five (Reilly steals the whole thing, and Jackson delivers his badassery as usual).

The film, overall, just continues the trend started with the first Monsterverse film, Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla”… beautiful, spectacular, brilliant cast, good acting, stupid plot, suspension of disbelief… only this time, showing off more of the “meat” rather than limiting itself to the human perspective of the events. Something the popcorn audience is grateful for… and given it’s not Shakespeare what we’re talking about, I can certainly agree on this…

Overall, far from a game-changer or something truly memorable – despite some brilliant, iconic moments – but not a bad way of spending some bucks on the big screen, it deserves to be seen at a theater.

rating: *** 1/2 / C+

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