Thursday, 9 March 2017

REVIEW: KONG-SKULL ISLAND

3.5/5

Planet Of The Ape.

118 Mins. Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Tony Kebbell, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Wigham, Jing Tian, John Ortiz, Richard Jenkins & John C. Reilly. Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

'King Kong' 'aint got s### on this! Hollywood will always love monkeying around. From 'Lord Of The Rings' director Peter Jackson's epic 2005 adaptation to all those damned, dirty apes warring with this planet. But now after climbing the biplane circling Empire State, this beast has a whole 'Skull Island' of his own. The return of the King see's Kong chest thumping mighty enough to grapple with a 'Godzilla' resurgence (there's even a direct copy of the nuclear testing reference and line about that actually being an attempt to kill the beast (is there something going on here?), albeit delivered just as good by Goodman) or 'Pacific Rim' uprising...if only we could ever get the cinematic crossover we really want. Instead back in Vietnam, Captain Marvel, Brie Larson and Loki, Tom Hiddleston face an apocalypse right now (you've seen the incredible homaged posters as wall worthy as the Japanese manga ones) with Nick Fury, AKA Samuel L. Jackson. A year before their avenging 'Infintiy War' with Marvel. But as of right now in this dawn of the 'War Of The Planet Of The Apes' it looks like Hollywood's la la land is taking it back to the classic mainstream, monster, blockbuster disaster movies from the past. With this, those other chimps and Hollywood's most famous franchise face across the generations, Tom Cruise unwrapping a new 'Mummy' movie this Summer. But this...this is the daddy. The father of big budget, thrills and spills, popcorn popping movie invention. A motion picture icon as big in American entertainment culture as Babe Ruth, Frank Sinatra or Cary Grant...no stranger to evading planes himself. From 1933 to now 84 years later...Kong the once and future king. All hail.

"GET TO THE PART WERE HE CHOPS DOWN HELICOPTERS:! We hear you cry! The palm tree, 'in your face' javelin. The Federer back-hand. The two fisted childs tantrum slam down. The Chicago Cub swing strike right out of Wrigley Field. And let's not even talk about inking octopus predators fates and making a meal out of them like spaghetti. This monkey business is no shrieking cheap toy with symbols...and all the Hollywood stars vying for top banana with the king know this. Like low key action hero Tom Hiddleston. The Loki star of the Marvel Avenger Universe going from a 'I Love Taylor Swift' t-shirt to muscling out of one. In this movieworld's park his wardrobe is Alan Grant minus the canvas stetson. 'The Night Manager' has just found himself a new day job with something even scarier than 'Crimson Peak'. But make 'Room' for Oscar winner Brie Larson, almost in a Laura Dern 'Jurassic Park' role complete with blue vest and red room ready camera. Loki and your new Captain Marvel would never get this close in the 'Avengers-Infintiy War', but here Larson and Hiddleston raise more 'will they/wont they' questions than which of the many A-list actors here are on the menu. O.K Kong for starters we have John Goodman. Fresh off his 'Patriots Day' call to honor turn and on fine form still, reuniting with his and Mark Wahlberg's 'Gambler' co-star Brie Larson. Sending her and Tom on this wild ape chase expedition through the helicopter descending jungles like...well John Hammond. And if you haven't had your fill of 'Jurassic Park' references. The man who is in everything Samuel L. Jackson gives us his best in years. Even offering you some easter egg chocolate in the form of bringing back his fond, favourite "hold onto your butts line". It's not like he gets to drop two many F-bombs here with all those munitions. But madder than the time his inflight movie was cancelled, Jackson wants to get this mother###### ape off this mother####### island like those snakes. Not to mention tree tall spiders, more prehistoric looking birds and some skull crawling monsters that make those 'Godzilla' moth things look like they could be taken out by a light bulb. Any ideas?

Here's a few more. Tony Kebbell who was a devestatingly good Doom in the 'Fantastic Four' flop reboot affects more heads by soldiering up as a character with more heart. Whilst Asian actress of the moment Jing Tian continues her Hollywood takeover with this, her 'Great Wall' with Matt Damon building now and of course the forthcoming 'Pacific Rim: Uprising' sequel as she stands tall next to Chrysler covering central characters. This movie even picks up a few actors with attitude, straight out of the breakout N.W.A. movie. As 'Straight Outta Comptons' Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins) and Eazy E (Jason Mitchell) bring some science and silly respectively to this seriously good blockbuster that never takes itself far too seriously. That is until 'Boardwalk Empire' star Shea Whigham goes all Stephen Merchant in 'Logan'. No spoilers but the fact that you see both these things in the trailer is as amazing as the scene itself, as Shea is his best since his support in 'The Lincoln Lawyer' and 'Silver Lingings Playbook'. Speaking of which, regular character actor John Ortiz shows up for a bit as set piece bait as this film brings everyone on board. Even the ever-good Richard Jenkins gets some senator lines in before they set sail. But its 'Step Brothers' and 'The Lobster' star John C. Reilly, gone Dennis Hopper hell for leather crazy in the jungle like his beard that steals the show. And every scene he brings his trademark nuanced and underrated helpings of humor and heart to. This film packs a wallop in all corners. And in dropping napalm and "scientific instruments" back in the jungles of Vietnam, it has a lot to say and scathe about not only that war, but the one today between animal and man that goes beyond territorial claims, or the cinematic shades and sunsets of 'Apocalypse Now' references that will resonate long after their first impression. This monkey leaves one hell of a footprint. 'The Kings Of Summer' dynamite director Jordan Vogt-Roberts may have just found his one with the crown of this seasons blockbuster bunch that has already come early, in the Spring we wish we could only see outside with the in cinemas now releases of 'Logan' and 'John Wick: Chapter 2'. But this is the real myth. The real legend. No man can render this epic creature fear extinct. We're going to need a bigger monster. Now what does that sound like? Chest thumping fun?! Kong is king...hear him ROAR! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

See This If You Liked: 'King Kong', 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes', 'Godzilla'.

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