Blu-ray Review: “Kong: Skull Island” Makes No Bones About Who Is King Of The Jungle

“...'Kong: Skull Island' seems to carry a heightened sense of energy that propels this sci-fi world of highly intelligent, massively endowed animals, into a stark, territorial battle of brains vs. brawn.”


 

A team of scientists, soldiers, and adventurers unite to explore an uncharted island in the Pacific. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong. As their mission becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden.

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts uses compelling action and over-the-top cinematography to entice us into looking forward to one more King Kong adventure. Unlike its predecessors, though, “Kong: Skull Island” seems to carry a heightened sense of energy that propels this sci-fi world of highly intelligent, massively endowed animals, into a stark, territorial battle of brains vs. brawn. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that there are great leadership obstacles that must be overcome in order for both man and beast to decide who best to be loyal to.

As the film opens, Scientist Bill Randa (John Goodman), along with his partially-informed sidekick Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), begs for and is granted one last opportunity to run an expedition to Skull Island in the Pacific Ocean to try to resolve an unsettling event that he witnessed, but never had sufficient opportunity to verify years ago. Reluctantly, and with the promise of never being asked to entertain this foolishness again, Senator Willis (Richard Jenkins) sets Bill up with a team of listless soldiers, eager scientists and an adventurous photographer for an expedition to uncover the secrets of Skull Island. Specifically, Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) is lured into the fold with a large amount of cash, Photographer Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), the only female of the bunch, gets to satisfy her curious nature, and Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) needs a reason to feel his life is purposeful once again.

Before the aircraft ever leaves the ground, there are unresolved leadership battles that continue to rise as the crew ascends into the battle of their lives. As each warrior becomes totally consumed with their idea of what the mission means to them personally, the dissension amongst the crew continues to mount. The focus suddenly changes as the formation assembles and the beauty and mystery of the island compensate for the sacrifices each has made to get to this point. In the midst of what seems to be a universal agreement to face the unknown together, their entire world is turned upside down as they witness a showdown between Kong and a multitude of monstrous unidentified species. Kong’s wrath quickly spreads over the entire island and parts of the helicopter formation are obliterated as bodies and fireballs are flying merciless throughout the air. With this latest turn of events, the research crew is scattered throughout the island and forced to divide and conquer in order to regain their bearings and analyze their ability and willingness to continue the mission. A state of hopelessness soon unveils itself until part of the crew discovers a village of human inhabitants led by a man, Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), who was abandoned on the island 30 years ago. The seemingly exiled seems to have bedazzled the natives with his wit and charm and he uses it wisely to get them to accept the crew and assist in their mission. He also flexes to use his circle of influence to convince the crew that Kong is not the real enemy. When Packard insists that Kong is the real enemy because of the lives of the soldiers that were taken, the epic war begins internally amongst the crew and externally with the forces of nature.

The thrilling action comes scene after scene with a combination of highly technical, over-the-top animation and scary, gross and extremely gratifying battles featuring man vs. man, man vs. animal, and animal vs. animal. While the traditional story of King Kong plays out, unpredictable clashes with the most obscure objects and humans makes for a turn of events that suggests continued revisions that will keep any future remakes new and exciting. Kong’s new larger-than-life stature itself suggests that he is capable of taking on the biggest and best of Skull’s inhabitants and if Warner Brothers have their way, perhaps an impending battle between Godzilla and King Kong will be set in the years to come. For now, though, one doesn’t have to guess that Kong is still King, and the wait to reestablish his status has been well worth it!

Available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray™, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & DVD July 18th


 

Tracee Bond

Tracee is a movie critic and interviewer who was born in Long Beach and raised in San Diego, California. As a Human Resource Professional and former Radio Personality, Tracee has parlayed her interviewing skills, interest in media, and crossover appeal into a love for the Arts and a passion for understanding the human condition through oral and written expression. She has been writing for as long as she can remember and considers it a privilege to be complimented for the only skill she has been truly able to master without formal training!

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