Legendary and Warner Bros. are hoping to keep their monster-verse rolling this weekend with Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island. Brian Formo posted his review last week, and while he appreciated John C. Reilly’s performance, overall the film didn’t work too well for him. While the film has been getting fairly positive reviews from critics overall, I had mixed feelings about the movie.
On the one hand, it does feel like a direct answer to criticisms about Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla even though I think that film is a perfect representation of a Godzilla movie, which is a tough task when you consider how many Godzilla films there have been since the first one. While some felt that it went too slow or didn’t reveal the monster quickly enough, I feel like Edwards’ pacing worked to his advantage. Even having uninteresting human characters is pretty much par for the course with a Godzilla film, so it feels like the issue isn’t that Edwards made a bad movie, but rather his take didn’t work for certain people.
Enter Kong: Skull Island, which shows Kong in the first five minutes and has a fairly consistent stream of action throughout. While the characters are slightly better defined than the ones in Godzilla, they’re still coasting mainly on the charisma of the cast rather than anything that makes you cheer for them as individuals. The lone exception is Reilly, and I kept thinking throughout the film how much stronger the movie might have been if it had cut down on the main cast so that it could focus on fewer characters, Reilly’s included. The action scenes are fine, but between the two films, I prefer the tense build-up and payoff of Godzilla to the battle royale of Kong: Skull Island.
I also have some issues with how the movie approaches the Vietnam War, and you can look for that editorial on Monday.
In the meantime, what did you think? Does Kong: Skull Island make a worthy addition to the monster universe? Are you ready to see Kong battle Godzilla? Whose approach do you prefer: Vogt-Roberts or Edwards? Sound off in the comments section.