Kong: Skull Island's reinvention of the epic beast is not at all inventive and anything but wild.
2 out of 5 (Average)
| Vighnesh Menon (NOWRUNNING)
Kong: Skull Island, the second installment in Legendary Entertainment's "MonsterVerse" franchise, is mindless action extravaganza with zero motivation. The follow-up to Godzilla(2014) is all over the place, literally and figuratively. And to make things worse, King Kong decides to make just an extended cameo in a film that is meant to be all about him.
Three years ago, Godzilla had made an interesting gamble that did wonders to itself- the formula of "less is more". The mystery behind the gargantuan monster was well orchestrated with the dark reboot that had more than a few surprises under its belt. Godzilla was barely there but its invisible presence could not be resisted. Ironically, the problem with Kong: Skull Island is that it takes the same direction as its predecessor. The legend of Kong is repackaged without imagination, letting the viewer sense the studio's impatience to quickly expand this unprecedented universe.
There are at least a dozen prominent characters in Kong: Skull Island. They are all played by popular Hollywood actors, from A-listers Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson to up-and-comers Corey Hawkins, Toby Kebbell and Jason Mitchell. But none of them can stand up to the surprise performance from character actor John C Reilly. His Hank Marlow, a lieutenant who got stranded in the Skull island during the Second World War, is also the best-written character among all. We see his backstory, empathize with his outlandish quirks and understand his cause. None of this holds true for the rest of the cast, who either produce uninspired performances or have pathetically designed characters to portray. In a nutshell, most of the characters in the story are one-dimensional, which makes one wonder why so many of them exist in the first place.
It is not that Kong: Skull Island is a lost cause from frame one. It actually has potential in the form of the Vietnam war backdrop, But, rather than making a reasonable rhetoric with it, the film resorts to cheap nostalgia and overused obligatory 70s music. The soundtrack sounds hip in isolation, but it is despicable when you use it only to manipulate the audience.
Lastly, there are a handful of the most random deaths modern cinema has ever produced. It destroys the purpose of the character involved, let alone provide shock value to the moment. It is disappointing that some of the more crucial subjects of the film fall prey to this ludicrous (un)creative decision.
This is what easily embodies Kong: Skull Island's boring content. We can only hope that the future episodes in the series do something out of the box to recuperate from the taxing experience that was Kong: Skull Island.
Critic: Vighnesh Menon
2 out of 5 (Average)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good