A group of explorers, scientists and military personnel travel to an uncharted island somewhere in the vast Pacific ocean. Unbeknownst to them, they are embarking on a journey that will put before them a plethora of dangers, crossing into the domain of monsters, including the mythic Kong.
Bill Randa (John Goodman – Ratchet & Clank, Transformers: Age of Extinction) appeals to the government to allow him to travel to Skull Island for Monarch, an agency allegedly tasks with acquiring new resources for the United States. With a military escort led by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson – XXX: Return of Xander Cage, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Legend of Tarzan), soldiers Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell) and Mills (Jason Mitchell) and ex-SAS member and track James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston – Crimson Peak, Thor: The Dark World), the large, well-armed group venture forth. Accompanied by photo-journalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), the group encounter many large and scary beast, an intimidating warrior tribe, and downed World War II pilot Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly).
With an explosive beginning, which seemed to be trying a bit too hard to kill of many additional characters, of which we know very little, we follow two smaller groups as they try survive long enough to reach the pick-up rendezvous on the far side of the island.
The opening action scenes do lack a sense of threat. While the effects throughout the sequence are impressive, there is very little cause to hope for the survival of anyone other than the main characters. Once on the ground, the story moves forward, but lacks a sense of tension and any semblance of foreboding. The overall plot it rather straight forward, making it all too easy for an audience to realise the eventual outcome, minus a few deaths along the way.
While Kong himself, the King of the island, is remembered through stories that speak of legends, it is disappointing that there was not more menace to the creature.
Kong: Skull Island, despite the many areas where it is lacking, is still a fun film, and is sure to lead to several more in the franchise, both with the beast himself, and any future crossovers. Perhaps these future films are indeed the reason for this new outing.
Kong: Skull Island opens 10 March 2017 in South African cinemas.