kong-2

King Kong returns to big screen

Apr 4 • Arts & Leisure • 969

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TAYLOR WOLFF
staff writer

From Batman to Cinderella, iconic characters are able to stand the test of time.
Since 1933, one legendary character has both delighted and frightened audiences of all ages.
King Kong has returned to the big screen to reprise his role of the misunderstood antihero in “Kong: Skull Island.” Eighty-four years after his first appearance, the monster gorilla is still able to leave fans begging for more.
A thrilling lovechild of “King Kong,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Jurassic Park,” the latest King Kong reboot finds itself set in the early ‘70s.
As the Vietnam War is winding down, the race to map out the uncharted Skull island is ramping up.
U.S. government agent Bill Randa, portrayed by John Goodman, and geologist Houston Brooks have just been given the green light to map out the newly discovered island.
Looking past Randa’s relentless crazy eyes, the expedition seems like one of pure scientific curiosity, until a request for a military escort is made.
Surrounded by a rag-tag team including the Sky Devils squadron, former British Special Air Service Capt. James Conrad and pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver, Randa and Brooks head into possibly the biggest surprise they’ve ever seen.
Guided by vengeance, survival and local natives, the stranded group discovers Skull Island’s horrific secrets as they trek toward their only hope of returning from whence they came.
“Kong: Skull Island” is hands down one of the best monster movie reboots in recent history.
The storyline was essentially that of previous King Kong films, but set in a different time.
This iteration of King Kong stood out for a few reasons.
Within the story, there was something that everyone could relate to.
The brotherhood between the members of the Sky Devils squadron clearly stood out.
One major reason this film might have been successful is that no love story was present.
The only swoon-worthy moments spurred from Maj. Jack Chapman writing letters to his son Billy.
Overall, the film is well-written and included humorous, horrifying and sorrowful moments.
The star-studded cast, ranging from Tom Hiddleston to John C. Reilly, pack a powerful punch.
Samuel L. Jackson seamlessly delivers a Col. Packard that is completely insane.
Larson did not mold into the damsel archetype most would have expected of Mason Weaver.
Instead, she delightfully gives audiences a complex character that is not only soft and artistic, but also strong and independent.
Reilly is essentially the Chuck Noland of our generation.
The only mildly disappointing performance was that of Hiddleston. As Conrad, he does not command the screen like one would expect.
His only memorable scene is completely unnecessary to the plot and is probably included for “Hiddlestoners.”
As a complete ensemble, the cast is amazing. Would one really expect collective mediocrity when Loki, Nick Fury and Captain Marvel are all in the same film?
When taking on a monster film of this caliber, the digital effects are crucial. The CGI crew of “Kong: Skull Island” deserve a raise.
Yes, some of the characters seem like Pokemon derivatives, but as a whole the graphics are believable.
Kong successfully looks like an authentic gorilla and many of the creatures based on animals, such as water buffalos, look like the real thing.
As the next chapter in the King Kong franchise, “Kong: Skull Island” does not disappoint.
Complete with a solid cast, plot and effects, the film embodies the true essence of Kong and action flicks.
Full of ‘70s hard rock, ginormous creatures and an abnormally high volume of crazy, “Kong: Skull Island” is a must see.

TAYLOR WOLFF
wolff003@knights.gannon.edu

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