|The movie Toho would have made.|
I had been anticipating Kong: Skull Island for awhile now and with Toylanta being held on opening weekend, I had to wait a week to watch it. So last night the wife and I saw it and OMG it was great. The movie is part of Legendary Pictures Monsterverse, which so far is just Kong and Godzilla (the Legendary Pictures version), though Pacific Rim would fit right on it. It's a Legendary Pictures film series, and as I'll get to in a few sentences, fits pretty well into the ongoing story. For the record, I wish Legendary made the Transformers and Power Rangers movie.
As a long time kaiju fan, this is the King Kong movie I've wanted for a long time. I would say the King Kong movie I've always wanted, but the Toho Kong movies (King Kong vs Godzilla, and King Kong Escapes) are in the same vein. So I'll say the movie I've wanted for a very long time, because Kong as a super hero doesn't get explored often. Though, Legendary is doing it's part to contribute to that cause.
The movie is wonderful, taking place as Vietnam is wrapping up, we see a military group of helicopter pilots provide escort for a Monarch expedition into the largely known Skull Island for testing. The testing (which includes explosions) upsets the wildlife and drives Kong out to defend his land. The surviving military and Monarch members find their way to the pick up point for rescue and along the way discover the giant (and dangerous) wildlife Skull Island has to offer. Separated into two crews, one discovers a long lost fighter pilot and villagers were they learn about Kong and the dangerous monsters living in Skull Islands hollow core. The other crew, hellbent on revenge for the loss of their comrades get into various skirmishes with that not so friendly wildlife.
The movie establishes Kong as one of the guardians of Earth, like Godzilla. It's beautifully filmed, paying homage to Apocalypse Now, and featuring some extremely gorgeous visuals. The scenes of the villagers place of worship and Kong learning in the sunset are particularly impressive. It's only weak points are easy to ignore for the most part. Some of the scenes are edited in a way that seems a little clip show like. This is a common complaint I've had with a lot of recent movies, so I think it may be the result of a newer editing trend that may just not working so great with me.
While several newer movies this editing style doesn't gel so well for me, making the movie seem like a series if scenes or clips and not so much like a flowing narrative. Fortunately Kong's moments like that are much fewer than other recent movies that I've found moments like this few and not so distracting. Other complaints could be found in some of the human characters seemed two dimensional. Which, in all honesty is a common complaint in most big budget movies as well as pretty common in kaiju movies. So the movies lesser parts were easy to overlook in greater sum of awesomeness.
I said above Pacific Rim would fit easily into Monsterverse, and this movie opens that door even more. The Pan Pacific Defense Corps was created in response to the 2014 kaiju attack that took the military weeks to stop. The M.U.T.O attack, which took a long time to end was in Godzilla 2014. The resulting kaiju attacks came from a portal in the Pacific Ocean. Skull Island, which is home to many giant monsters (I'm not spoiling the entirety of it) and even is hollow, providing monsters in the center of the earth a way to come to the surface. Skull Island just happens to be in the Pacific Ocean.
So, OMG IT WOULD BE SO AWESOME IF GYPSY DANGER TEAMED UP WITH KONG AND GODZILLA AND....wait...
Hey, what if we got a Legendary Pictures version of Jet Jaguar?