The XIV edition of the Syfy Fantastic Film Festival has given the possibility for many Madrilenians to see two blockbusters before their arrival in cinemas. The first was ‘Logan’, the best film in the X-Men universe to date and a luxury farewell from Hugh Jackman to Wolverine, the character who launched him to fame. The second is titled ‘Kong: Skull Island’ and is the long-awaited cinematic relaunch of the King of the Apes.
All the advances have seen so far promised a brutal visual spectacle in which Kong and the rest of the monsters had a great presence in the story, obviating that tendency to hide the creatures as long as possible. And that fulfills it, often focusing on monsters to give us first-rate popcorn fun, but in return, it has a script and characters so flimsy that they almost seem to be taken from an Asylum movie.
Knows exactly what you want
It only takes a couple of minutes for us to see Kong for the first time in a simple but effective prologue that already makes it clear that its size has varied considerably without the need to show it completely. Then comes the presentation of characters, where at first they seem to bet on agility above all, giving the feeling that they simply want to reach the island whenever before so that the action begins.
In this way, the script by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, and Derek Connolly is based entirely on the archetypes to define its protagonists, leaving the description of all limited to one or two notes that, let’s be fair, work to know the basics of them hoping that then everyone finds their place in the evolution of the story -especially in the case of Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson – while we see Kong and the rest of the monsters making their own.
It is a reasonable sacrifice – it can always be compensated on the fly – so as not to lose those spectators who want to see destruction in spades, making it clear that Warner had to take note of several of the complaints that there were at the time towards the undervalued ‘Godzilla’, where it prevailed how the existence of the creature affected the whole, while in ‘Kong: Skull Island’ they do not want to use him as an excuse, but to take him to the center of the story at all times.
The toll to be paid
What seems a laudable decision, and that gives rise to some flipping action scenes -and only the sequence of the helicopters well deserves the price of the ticket, but there are several more-, also plays against it, since the premise used never develops in the slightest, leaving many characters forgotten -there are several that literally disappear randomly when they seemed destined to have some kind of plot of their own- and others limited in such a way that one simply wants them to disappear.
The only real exception is found in John C. Reilly, and not because he is really better defined from the script, but because the actor manages to make us like it to the point of being the only one we care about in the slightest. The rest may have some moment of lucidity, but in general, they are morralla of the worst category that their actors try to qualify as much as possible, but none manages to breathe life into them.
For his part, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts seems aware of the material at hand, so he prefers to focus his efforts on the visual knowing that in the plot there was very little to scratch. In that aspect, the 190 million dollars invested are very noticeable and not only when Kong or the rest of the monsters make an appearance, but by the use of colors, fog, and other environmental details to immerse us in the dangers of the island.
‘Kong: Skull Island’ shines for better and for worse
In addition, Vogt-Roberts manages to dodge the main problem of having a script and poor characters, and that is that ‘Kong: Skull Island’ never gets bored. In the end that is the great objective of a film like the one that concerns us, and if it also gives us several scenes that leave you wanting to get up and applaud because I do not even tell you, but not for that reason we must ignore their obvious weaknesses by much even if they do not sink the film
It matters little that there are characters who disappear randomly, others that one does not know how well they do there – I think above all, although not only, of Tian Jing, whose presence seems motivated only by the growing importance of China in box office matters – that the motivations of others are presented in a deficient way or that they do not cease to be an excuse to see monsters doing theirs.
At least the rereading of Kong, who here acts as a singular protective figure instead of being condemned to an impossible romantic plot -luckily here there is only some note as scarce as unnecessary-, is quite curious and on top of that, it leaves you wanting more. The only thing I ask is that they completely ignore the humans in their long-awaited confrontation with Godzilla or that at least they work a little more on the story and, above all, the characters. Difficult they do not have it to improve in that section.
In short, ‘Kong: Skull Island’ is a visual delight giving us practically everything one could expect from a movie with King Kong and a multitude of monsters, but almost better not to look at everything else, both in a basic story with a “development” between poor and ridiculous and in characters to forget where only the presence of John C. Reilly and the charisma of some of the protagonists avoid the debacle. All in all, it is highly recommended if you know what you are going to find and have no problems with it.