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mv5bmtuwmzi5odewnf5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjaznji2mdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Sometimes I see a film and I wonder what people, say, 50 or 100 years ago would have reacted to when seeing it. I guess that in the case of Kong, most of them would have crapped their pants and stampeded out of the theatre. Kong: Skull Island has vicious creatures and fierce fights, grand explosions and surreal sceneries. It is extremely cinematic in an over-the-top way, drawing on everything from Lost World through Apocalypse Now, with the occasional John Woo-y martial arts moments. Admittedly, I have never really felt disappointed by any of the King Kong movies in the past. Kong is a great character that writes itself a script even if the Writers’ Guild is on strike. Send some people in, some noble and some pernicious, send some other creatures in, all pernicious, and let the battle rage until last creature and / or man standing. I liked Kong: Skull Island better than Peter Jackson’s effort some years ago, there was more originality in choreography, creature design and overall goofiness of the approach. Oh and there’s Black Sabbath, so what can go wrong?

There is also some formidable cast assembled to stand by while the battle is raging between Kong and his adversaries, with John Goodman and Samuel Jackson  doing their thing for a bit, Shae Whigham having a splendid exit scene, and Tom Hiddleston surely not yet quite sure whether he was supposed to be the hero of the film, but not getting too many heroic things to do (apart from running through toxic gas in a gas mask, and then just taking it off after the POV shots had been delivered)… Tian Jing seems to be on a retainer with Legendary Pictures, not so sure whether she is doing her international career a favour allowing her to be cast for decorative and marketing purposes, they clearly could not be bothered adding words for the script just because of her.

Kong found a good way of referencing the old King Kong films, such as when Kong gets chained up, while adding new setting and definitely a new quality of cgi to the story. I felt I could have watched many more minutes of all that, especially as they kept talking about “this is just the first of many”, but seems the other evil skull creatures were on a break. As the post credit sequence suggests, we can happily expect more, maybe not involving Kong (though it might be a good idea to hire him for recognisability of the franchise and because some exceptionally mean creatures are waiting to take over the world).

Excellent entertainment!

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