At First Glance: “Kong: Skull Island”

The end of the year means trailers for new and exciting films that are mere months away. It’s a difficult time, what with life and the holidays coming at you, plus any and all of the remaining films that will debut by year’s end, all in the hopes that they can qualify for awards consideration. How does one contain all that excitement and nervous energy? Probably not easily.

The upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures “Kong: Skull Island” looks like it will live up to its big name, and then some.

This action adventure film stars Tom Huddleston (upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok”, “The Night Manager”), Brie Larson (upcoming films “Free Fire”, “The Glass Castle”), John Goodman (upcoming films “Patriots Day”, “Bunyan and Babe”), Samuel L. Jackson (upcoming films “xXx: Return of Xander Cage”, “Blazing Samurai”), and John C. Really (upcoming “Sing”, “The Lobster”).

The film is directed by Jordan Vogt- Roberts (“Cocked”, “You’re the Worst”) and written by Max Borenstein (“Minority Report (2015 TV series)”, “Godzilla (2014)”), Derek Connolly (“Jurassic World”, “Safety Not Guaranteed”), John Gatins (upcoming films “Power Rangers”, “Spectral”), and Dan Gilroy (“Nightcrawler”, “The Bourne Legacy”).

It is expected to open on March 10, 2017.This trailer is huge! It’s scope is already proving to be in absolute control and one that will give fans and newbie’s enough to get excited about. Thank you “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” for debuting this trailer to the world!

What isn’t there to love?! It’s set in the 1970s, which the trailer makes sure you know right away and never forget, it’s got lots of amazing action and adventure, brought to life by sets and costumes and various CGI, plus gorgeous cinematography! So many incredible elements that this film shouldn’t have to work hard at convincing you of the adventure you’re on and that it was one worth all that hard earned money of yours.

Jumping back to the CGI, because it’s absolutely unavoidable. It’s like the helicopters flying into the path of Kong and discovering what happens when visitors show up unannounced. This CGI, which probably encompasses a large majority of this film, will essentially make or break it. Too often it looks great in the trailers, but upon seeing it up close and personal, not so much. Here, it looks like you can have a lot more optimism with regards to it; no caution needed. It’s what is allowing me to be blown away by Kong’s size, his ferocity, and all of the other creatures. The name Skull Crawlers may indeed sound silly when said out loud, but they look damn terrifying! I definitely wouldn’t want to meet them or any of the other massive monsters that inhabit this island.

This CGI work is also what’s going to make the action sequences work so well. The cinematography will take a portion of that credit, but because of the realism brought to these magnificent beasts, audiences may actually be held in suspense. I’ll take any kind of suspense over just straight up action, where one character runs from thing to thing and nothing really happens. It might make me feel like there’s actually some danger. Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but if it ultimately translates into my sitting in a somewhat uncomfortable chair for two hours (or more, if that’s how long it is), then I’ll call it a win!

The cast is another major perk! I’m constantly amazed by what these actors do, even if it doesn’t fully turn out to be the best thing in the world. I feel most of the characters, based on this trailer are clearer than others. Who are they? Scientists? Guides? Some other kind of expert? However, I’m more intrigued about Hiddleston and Larson. Who are they? What are they doing? Hiddleston could be any of those things I listed, so could Larson. On the other hand, Larson benefits form the sight of a camera, but then I’m only guessing. Photojournalist or just at plain photographer hoping to break big? Either is great, but that leaves so much more to expect from her character. At the least, which is what makes this film stand out even more, she doesn’t appear to be taking on the role of damsel in distress. Nor does the other female character that appears a few times in the trailer. That’s been the classic case with films about Kong, so we’ll see.

Something we can all look forward to, but approach a bit more cautiously optimistic, is the humor. It’s there. Can’t miss it, but will it translate in the film overall. When this thing called context comes into play. Then the question becomes, will this humor pop up multiple times, and almost turn this film into a comedic action adventure film? Sometimes film’s can benefit from this, other times, it’s just a disaster. Where will this film land on that scale?

The holiday season is about to begin, and the end of the year film’s are only just now starting to roll out, but that doesn’t mean one can’t begin to get excited for next year. It’s a juggling act of sorts, but surprisingly quite easy. Now if only the rest of the year would just zip on by. That’s another circus act that’s not so simple to master.


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