Kong is the newest addition to the already long list of King Kong films. Set in the same universe as 2014’s Godzilla, Kong takes place decades before just after the Vietnam War. Heading into this film I had not seen Godzilla, and from the trailers, I was going in with mixed expectations.
I’ll start with Kong. He is by far the best thing about this film. While most of his scenes are action, that is what you want from Kong and all of it was done really well. Kong felt menacing when he had to be but shows he had a caring side when it came to protecting his island. While I don’t remember much about the previous version of King Kong, this Kong feels fleshed out and something we want to spend more time with.
Going from Kong to the other monsters on the island, I thought they were all great. While this movies serves as an origin to Kong, it still had to do the job of introducing the idea that there are bigger creatures on this Earth. While most of the monsters we saw though the film are bigger versions of animals we already have, it was a good was to explore the concept that there are bigger creatures somewhere on this Earth.
Moving into the characters, this is definitely the weak point to the film. While I’ll touch on some characters I thought that worked in the film, most of the others were fairly forgettable. I thought that Hiddleston and Larson really copped the wrong end of the stick with this film because they were not utilised at all. Their story arcs and the characters themselves weren’t interesting in anyway and I didn’t find myself caring for what happened to them when there was meant to be stakes. This was a similar thing for most of the other characters and at times it made the Kong-less parts of the film a little slow.
There was however some characters I did really enjoy in this film. The first was Samuel L Jackson. I really enjoyed the angle they took with this character making him this high ranked military leader who just wants to take out Kong in a revenge plot. I thought Jackson was fantastic in the role and the story arc with him was interesting because you would think that in a real situation like this, there would be people who want to take out the enemy regardless of the cost.
Another character I really liked was John C Reilly as the lost solider. Seeing him in the trailer showed that he was going to be the comedic relief, and he was. While not all his humour completely hit with me, the characteristics of his character made sense for someone who has been lost for so long. I found whenever he was on the screen, he was the strongest person who stole each scene he was in.
Something I thought was done really well was the way this film was shot. Interchanging between slow mo, first person, long panning shots, through the lens of the camera, this film always had a shot to keep the action and everything around it interesting. Because of this it was a great thing to watch because they were able to utilise different effects and shots.
Overall, this movie was made to introduce Kong, and they did that fantastically, however, it was a lot of the other stuff around it the fell apart. Luckily for me, all I wanted out of this film was a good Kong introduction and I 100% got that, and because of that, the other stuff didn’t bother me as much.