Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island ★★★★

Probably the most well-put together blockbuster I've seen in ages.

The structure is classic but streamlined, essentially copy-pasting the Jurassic Park plot skeleton while putting in enough fun characters and spectacular sequences to make it jump along at a good pace, plus the editing and cinematography are top fucking notch.

The main two human characters are bland as fuck and Hiddleston is massively miscast, not to mention a couple of FX shots were pretty creaky, but I was consistently entertained throughout, and I found Sam Jackson's character to be interesting enough to keep me engaged.

The parallels it draws with Vietnam and the politics of war in general does what great creature features do - uses monsters and fantasy to reveal and comment on aspects of humanity. Director Vogt-Roberts obviously is very cine-literate, with the multiple obvious visual and thematic references to Apocalypse Now and the war film genre in general, plus a surprising reference to Cannibal Holocaust.

It's an impressive jump for the director to go from a small indie production to a large scale blockbuster in one movie, and he makes the switch a lot smoother than Colin Trevorrow did with Jurassic World.

In fact, Kong: Skull Island is a better Jurassic Park movie than Jurassic World was. Who'd a thunk it?

James liked this review