Kong: Skull Island #ConTENders 2017

*Minor story spoilers ahead*

In a world where the blockbuster is all capes and sorcery, Kong: Skull Island aims to bring the spotlight back to the old monster movies of yesteryear. And that is why it’s one of my 2017 #ConTENders.

Kong: Skull Island is the newest attempt at reviving the appeal of the ’33 and ’76 King Kong films after Peter Jackson’s film in 2005. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kings of Summer, Nick Offerman’s American Ham) helms this incarnation, and together with his various screenwriters, harkens back to the essence of the original blockbusters.

The film has an all-star cast of both storied veterans and up and coming A-listers (and three members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU). Yes, John Goodman and Samuel L. Jackson play characters similar to those of their past, but that shouldn’t be a strike against them since their perfection of those roles is to the film’s benefit.

Also in the film: Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the MCU), Brie Larson (Oscar winner for Room), Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins (two-thirds of Straight Outta Compton‘s N.W.A), Shea Whigham (The Wolf of Wall Street), Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, A Monster Calls), John Ortiz (Silver-Linings Playbook, Togetherness), Richard Jenkins (Cabin in the Woods, Let Me In), and John C. Reilly (Step Brothers, Chicago).

John C. Reilly. Of course, I’m going to single him out; everyone assuredly has already. Reilly’s turn as Marlon, was one of genius. He wasn’t supposed to be in this role (in fact Michael Keaton of all people was set to play this character), and Reilly made it his own. Even down to the nod to his character, Dr. Steve Brule.


For your health
And that’s just amazing.

In the end, Kong: Skull Island will never win an Oscar (well, maybe for Visual Effects), but it’s the kind of film I used to watch with my Dad on the USA Network as a kid. Monster movies were a big part of our bonding, and so, that’s partially the reason for my affection.



Like this beauty.


But Kong is a beast in this film; a towering powerhouse that aims to protect the world from the beings that live under the Hollow crust of the Earth.

Yes! You read that right! This film incorporates the Hollow Earth theory in the narrative! What a world we live in, folks. That’s all kind of crazy, and I hope they explore that concept more in future installments.

In short, Kong: Skull Island may not make my Top Ten list at the end of the year (or anyone else’s for that matter), but it’s definitely worth your time, if to only escape reality for two hours. Sit back in a dark theater with a popcorn and soda, and enjoy.


-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)

Keep up to date with which films may make my Top 10 of 2017 by clicking here.


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