Kong: Skull Island
by Tony Medley
Runtime 118 minutes.
OK for children.
terrific photography and award-quality special effects, this is another
iteration in the Kong genre. This time a group of soldiers and
scientists explore a hitherto unknown island filled with prehistoric
creatures that has been hidden from discovery by storms that constantly
An all-star cast
including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman,
and John C. Reilly fly through the storms and land on the island. There
they meet an assortment of prehistoric creatures, only one of whom is
Kong, an enormous ape who, predictably, eventually falls for the
beautiful Ms. Larson who can fit in the palm of his hand (and does,
since this is the iconic scene that binds all of these films together).
In between is a
typical story of the gang trying to survive on the island for three days
and get across it to the agreed rendezvous. They have to traverse a
jungle full of danger, and deal with disagreements among themselves,
mainly an unreasonable military officer Preston Packard (Jackson).
Hiddleston is rapidly
becoming one of my more favored actors. After what I considered a subpar
performance as Hank Williams in I Saw the Light (2015), he has
been exceptional in everything else in which Iíve seen him, especially
TVís The Night Manager (2016). He also played F. Scott Fitzgerald
in Woody Allenís hit, Midnight in Paris (2011).
Well directed by
Jordan Vogt-Roberts (only his second film), the special effects (Tom
Peitzman), production design (Stefan Dechant), and cinematography (Larry
Fong) alone are worth the price of admission, buttressed by the
symphonic score (Henry Jackman) that greatly enhances the action. And
they should be since the estimated cost of production is around $185
million. Final kudos should go to the editor. Iím constantly carping
about films needing good editing. This one got it, thanks to Richard