Kong in action-packed comeback

Monday March 13, 2017 Written by Published in Entertainment
Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson play pivotal roles in the movie Kong: Skull Island now screening at the Empire Cinema. 17031019 Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson play pivotal roles in the movie Kong: Skull Island now screening at the Empire Cinema. 17031019

“It’s a monkey,” a toddler screamed in the Empire Theatre when King Kong was introduced in the opening scene of the latest reboot of the King Kong franchise, the Kong: Skull Island.

 

Then there was a short-lived cheer and a little applause from my neighbour, who seemed to be in his earlier primary school days.

But it was a mistake to judge the movie by his lukewarm response because Kong: Skull Island really deserved a better ovation than this.

The opening scene of this monster film is amazingly done, with the clever introduction of the movie’s central character

There’s a snippet of a World War Two scene from the mid-1940s where an American and Japanese soldier crash land on the Skull Island, fighting their way to the mountain top when Kong suddenly appears.

Then the opening credits begin to roll with background footage of dramatic events around the world between the 1930s and 1970s.

The footage stops in the early 1970s, the period in which the movie is set.

Kong: Skull Island is about an expedition tour to an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean known as Skull Island.

This scientific expedition is initiated by government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) and seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), led by former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston).

Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson) of the Sky Devils helicopter squadron is hired with his troops to help them on their journey.

The team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers is also joined by photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson).

Upon reaching the Skull Island, Packard’s troops start to deploy explosives and prepare to take scientific readings.

This attracts the attention of Kong who promptly brings down the flying helicopters, killing many of the soldiers and leaving the team depleted.

An infuriated Packard vows to kill Kong to avenge the death of his men. But little do he and the other survivors know that the real devil lives below them.

I saw the reboot of the King Kong franchise released in 2005 and directed by master filmmaker Peter Jackson, and I loved it.

Naomi Watts put on a brilliant performance in that movie and the chemistry between her and Kong was extraordinary.

That chemistry, however, is lacking between Kong and Weaver in Kong: Skull Island. And it’s a little uninspiring compared to the performances in the 2005 film.

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts does a decent job with the cast at his disposal. He superbly coordinates the action sequences to make them look more lively and intense. The action is breathtaking and the cinematography from Larry Fong is spectacular.

Fong, who has worked in movies such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 300, captures the shots beautifully to give Kong: Skull Island the dynamic look it deserves.

And despite its fast-paced story, Kong: Skull Island remains consistent with the eye-catching cinematography and adrenaline-charged action sequences.

It surely is a hell of a ride.

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