Kong: Skull Island 2017 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley
Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


Movie Information

Kong Skull Island is a 2017 American monster thriller film that is directed by Jordan Vogt- Roberts The story is written by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein and it was taken from an original story by John Gatins and Dan Gilroy.
This film is a reboot of the King Kong franchise.

This film also serves as the second installment to a legendary’s Monster Verse.
The film stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian (the Great Wall), Toby Kebbel, John Ortiz, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, Thomas Mann, Terry Notary, and John C Reilly.The principal photography began on October 19, 2015 in Hawaii.

Movie Review

It is 1944 10 years before Godzilla and In the beginning of the movie we see an American pilot and a Japanese pilot crash land on Skull Island and they begin to fight and work their way into the jungle to a ledge and there they are interrupted by two gigantic hands and a gigantic head of a gigantic ape like monster.

Because of this event they eventually become very close friends. Only to have the Japanese pilot end up dying at the hands of a Skull Crawler.
We now zoom back into the future to the setting of 1973 were Bill Randa rounds and recruits Samuel L Jackson’s character Lt. Col. Preston Packerd. And his crew called the Sky Devils. Then they finally in the process of luring Mason Weaver an anti – war photographer who believes that the scientific expedition is trying to cover up what the real intentions are. It is an illegal military operation however the plan is exposed and that is due to the fact that Bill Randa wanted to expose the existence and proof of giant monsters.

There is an incredible scene where they come up to the island and it is surrounded by a perpetual storm formation or as in some scietific circles it is called a super cell. They managed to take a heliport and transport a bunch of Huey’s directly into the storm. This is an amazing scene with a lot of lightning and it is very colorful and then suddenly everything is clear.

There they encounter a flying tree and yes “is that a monkey” they finally meet the 104 foot gigantic ape like monster King Kong. There King Kong totally annihilates every last helicopter.

Lieut. Col. Preston Packard eventually confronts Bill Randa and he proceeds to explain his real intentions on the island and tells him that there are monsters that do exist.


I think right around this time is where I find something a odd. It is when all the men died in those helicopter crashes one of the soldiers manages to hand Packard all of their dogtags and here is my issue with this did they actually go through all of those burning helicopters and retrieve all of them from the burning wreckage and if so why don’t they have some kind of burnt markings on them from the explosions this is just something to think about.

They eventually travel through the island as both teams get separated and Packard’s team are traveling through an area encrusted with bamboo and they encounter a gigantic bamboo spider. This is a very cool scene as they began to shoot at it, but initially they chop away at its legs trying to bring it down and when they do Packard shoots five final shots and kills it. This is a very cool looking spider that a lot of people assume it was Kumonga. This is not the case!

Another fantastic scene is where James Conrad and Mason Weaver and their part of the crew encounter a very unique water buffalo is called the skeleton buffalo or as in some circles they prefer to call it the Sker Buffalo. It is seen rising slowly on the water and it has three like horns on the side of his head and the horns are longer than the actual body and this particular Kaiju is very docile in nature. It is seen walking on water and disappearing.

On the other hand Conrad, Weaver, and that crew eventually run into the local natives of the island and they are call Iwi and they have a very cool look about them as some of them are painted in blue, but the majority of them have a yellow distinctive look about them. The paint jobs are pretty amazing on this tribe. It is there they finally meet John C. Riley’s character has been stuck on this island since 1944.

This is a great scene as they get to know him and they reveal that King Kong is the island’s Guardian and it is worshiped as a God by the natives of this island. He also proceeds to explain that King Kong protects them from the Skull Crawler’s which are reptilian underground monsters that did eventually slaughtered King Kong’s parents and at the same time he holds a grudge against them because of what they did.


Although this is a great scene it is while he is explaining all of this they work their way into a ship call The Wanderer it was stranded some years ago I believe according to John C, Rileys character before he landed on the island and they work their way into the ship only to find out that it is worshiped by the tribe and it does have stone like figures that tell a story about King Kong and the Skull Crawler.

Now here is an interesting thing while he is talking his character proceeds to say that the reason why King Kong attacked the helicopters it is because they were dropping bombs and Kong was trying to avoid awakening the largest Skull Crawler and it is called the Big One. The technical name for the Skull Crawler is Ramarak.

Another great scene that some people don’t agree with is the character Chapman got lost along the way witnesses King Kong actually wrestling a squid like Kaiju that they call the mire squid. This is a fantastic scene as Kong eventually killed it and eventually eats the tentacles which to me was completely different and very cool at the same time. However some people don’t agree with that. It really is all based on what you think is cool what you don’t think it’s cool.


There Chapman did get scared and ran into the woods only to be confronted by another very cool Kaiju and that is The Spore Mantis he then proceeds to shoot at it however something spooks him and the Spore Mantis runs away. Only to find out there was a Skull Crawler that suddenly snatches Chapman.

The next scene that I find fascinating was one where Mason Weaver hears a strange cry and eventually work her way through the wall only to find that on the other side further into the field she sees a skeleton buffalo that is trapped underneath a fallen helicopter and she slowly walks up to it and really tries to lift the helicopter off of the beast because she feel sorry for the creature.
However the helicopters is lifted off by the gigantic King Kong and he drops it off to the side and the skeleton buffalo walks away and you can clearly see the size of King Kong compared to this skeleton buffalo. During this particular events Weaver is in awe by King Kong’s compassion for the creature.

Another great scene we are coming up to the actual discovery of what is called the psycho vultures and these are bat like creatures that resemble the pterosaurs that have a Mapleleaf configuration to their wings these are very cool looking creatures. Samuel L Jackson looks through the scope of his rifle and shoots one of them and suddenly they are flying all over the place. The entire tree was loaded with these vultures!

Nieves is definitely one that likes to complain pretty much says he did not want to come on this trip meets a great demise as they are floating down the river he is picked out and snagged by the psycho vultures and taken to the sky where they see him get literally pulled apart. This is a horrible death for Nieves!


Now we work our way into what is called The Forbidden Zone this is the area where they do come across a forgotten battleground where they see possibly King Kong’s parents and they are in skeletal formation as it is believed that the smaller Skull Crawler’s got to these two why they were sleeping work their way through their eyeballs and ate their way into their brains killing both of them and slowly devouring them.

This again is why I say King Kong holds a grudge against the Skull Crawler’s. They would eventually work their way through this particular boneyard and they encounter Skull Crawler’s and yes the same Skull Crawler that devoured Chapman by literally regurgitating up his head or his skull. During this scene this is where Bill Randa suddenly is swallowed up by one of the Skull Crawler’s.
Another great part is when Mason Weaver takes the lighter and tosses it through the air because it is very phosphorus and totally ignites and explodes around the Skull Crawler killing it.

During the night scene James Conrad and Mason Weaver they stumble up this ravine looking down into the valley and suddenly they are distracted by a noise it is King Kong walking up on them. King Kong all close and personal this again is probably the most amazing and highly detailed close up shot of Kong they did a fantastic job on the CGI of King Kong.

This is where we see explosions in the background and King Kong works his way over to the river there he confronts Packard only to be knocked out by the explosions and the extreme heat that surround King Kong. This particular scene where the Big One shows up. The biggest Skull Crawler they call “that’s the big one” or Ramarak. This is where is King Kong suddenly wakes up and Packerd wanted to set off the detonations of bombs however King Kong in all his glory literally smashes his hand over Packard totally smashing him into pieces another fantastic scene. (As far as I’m concerned he deserved it).

There we start seeing daylight and eventually we get the main fight between King Kong and Ramarak and this is where you literally see that King Kong is a serious thinking animal. A very smart one at that. He jostles around with the Skull Crawler and some pretty impressive fight scenes and you can clearly see that King Kong is the stronger of the two in some aspects. However the Skull Crawler is persistent and will not stop until he defeats King Kong.


With the help of James Conrad and his team they distract the giant Skull Crawler long enough for King Kong to set himself free as he managed to get stuck in a bunch of chains that are part of the anchor system of the ship. He uses these ship propeller as a weapon and manages to subdue this giant Skull Crawler and by doing this he ends up hurting Mason Weaver in the process and because of this Kong panics and begins to go after her and he pulled her out of the water only to be suddenly attacked by that Skull Crawler again.
There it tries to swallow King Kong’s hand and he rips out the entire guts of the Skull Crawler killing it this is a great fight scene. The entire movie has nothing but great fight scenes.

This is where the fight ends and King Kong literally lets the expedition or whats left of them go home. He watches from afar and he beats on his chest in victory. Another happy ending and this is where Marlowe that would be John C Riley’s character finally makes his way home after so many years and he reunites with his wife and finally meets his son for the very first time and he is seen sitting on the couch watching a Cubs game and I believe it’s when they won the World Series but don’t quote me on that.
He is seeing drinking a beer and eating a hot dog just like he imagined while he was on the island.

Now we will talk about the post credit scenes as we wait for the credits to roll past we finally see them Conrad and Weaver are In the Monarch station and that is where they proceed to tell them that there are other monsters on this Earth and they begin to show images of Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and the mighty King Ghidorah. This is a great post credit scene and at the very end you to hear Godzilla’s roar absolutely amazing. This is a truly amazing story to me. It is well done!!!!


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