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  • Marah Heikkila

Kong: 'Skull Island' lacking

If you’re looking for an action-packed film with little substance, character development, or depth, then I would highly recommend “Kong: Skull Island”.

The plot of the movie involves a group of scientists exploring an uncharted island, escorted by a military team. This journey soon takes a turn and the members of the groups come face-to-face with Kong, king of the island. At the time he may seem like the enemy but that island holds worse creatures that the group has to face in order to survive.

The movie has a star-studded cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John C. Reilly, John Goodman and many more. This line-up ultimately adds appeal since many of these actors have been in respectable and well known successful films. In general they are well known for their work in the industry.

Although the CGI effects in this film were well utilized, there was a lack of character development. The characters were sporadically talked about and their backgrounds were rarely touched on, which made them feel unrealistic and unreliable.

One character that stood out who actually showed character development was Hank Marlow, played by Reilly. Hank was in the military and his back story was fully described. It was mentioned that he had a wife, and his best friend on the island was one of the opposing army members he went against in WWII. He was one of the only characters that actually stood out and felt relatable in a realistic way.

Reilly’s character Hank, also helps the movie become bearable because of the comic relief. Reilly, as in most of his films, uses quick and witty humor in certain situations that do well in eliciting laughs. This was particularly useful in this film since he would laugh and tell the scientists that they were going to die for coming to the island and had no hope. When he said these things he involuntarily laughed, which only lightened the mood for the audience and made them have a good laugh.

Although this movie isn’t likely to win an Oscar, there are still promising features. The effects that were used were realistic and they were well done. This excellent usage of graphics made the film more intriguing, especially when there were action scenes between Kong, the people, and the Skull Crawlers.

These effects, as useful and effective they were, still didn’t take away the fact that the movie lacked overall depth.

When watching and examining films, viewers often want to feel informed and aware of what is going on. In order to give the viewer this reaction, the events of the film must flow smoothly. When the scenes are choppy with little relevance, that makes the viewer confused and leaves them trying to understand how one scene can be so different from the next. An example of this is when the military group, led by Preston Packard, played by Jackson, is entering the island and flying over dropping seismic charges. Abruptly, Kong stands up, making the change between these scenes very awkward to say the least. Another time when this happens is when the characters separate into groups and meet up. The sequence in those moments are awkwardly placed, which makes the viewer feel disconnected.

The approach to this movie is respectable, but the film itself was disappointing. There were high hopes for this film, especially after watching the previews and seeing the cast. Not all movies are a hit, and even though this one used neat effects and sprinkled in humor, that wasn’t enough to even make it a subpar movie, especially considering movies have already been released this year. “Kong: Skull Island” is rated PG-13 and is currently showing in theaters.

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