Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island ★★★½

Anyone comparing this to the 2014 Godzilla is completely off the mark imo. Instead of Gareth Edwards’s intelligent blockbuster that examines man’s dwarfed helplessness in the face of insurmountable nature, this is a hybrid men-on-a-mission/B-movie kaiju showcase. The tones don’t entirely gel together, but that’s what makes it so fun. Case in point, Shea Wigham’s final moment in the movie is set up to be “epic” with its generically angelic score & pained look on his face, only for his ultimate fate to be such a hard left turn that all it can be is fucking hilarious. Far from flawless; the Marvel inspired non-humor stops the movie dead in its tracks every time, the cast comprises of largely charisma voids (save Jackson, Reilly, & Wigham), subsequent attempts at drama aside from those three fall completely flat, & when all’s said & done, really fucking dumb; but I won’t stop coming back to this movie with monster fights & spectacle this outrageous & joyously executed. Clips along at a great pace, moving fast & rarely getting dull. Sam Jackson in particular gives one of his best performances in years as his own crazed Colonel Kurtz, surprisingly putting it all out there in a role that on paper could’ve been anyone’s (my exact problem with John Goodman). His saying, “Bitch please!” to Brie Larson is up there with his most iconic moments of cussing. Also, idk how much this has been discussed but the level of violence on display here for an otherwise PG-13 franchise starter actioner is kinda shocking in the best way possible. From splattering blood to guts getting ripped out to a fucking Cannibal Holocaust homage, this doesn’t play around. Well, it does, but in a nasty way I can’t get enough of. Furthermore, Jackson’s send off is just as comical as Wigham’s, built up as a heroic moment only for the complete inverse to happen that has me howling every time. Last critique: huge missed opportunity to give John C. Reilly the movie’s one f-bomb & not, oh idk, Samuel L. Jackson? All in all, while the output may be disappointing from time to time, there’s arguably no better time to be a kaiju fan. Godzilla has more consistent & quality content, but I’m firmly team monke, even if it’s just for the meme 🐵

Side note: glad I finally know what Kevin Cozner was up to when he told Captain Holt he was in “Paris”

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