Much like it's predecessor in 2014's Godzilla, a feature that would start the whole MonsterVerse off, the judges cannot settle on a determination for Kong: Skull Island. Ahead of it's March 10, 2017 premiere date for US audiences, the picture has received mixed reviews for it's execution. Combining to indicate that the film is essentially a really bad grade A movie, or a really good grade B movie.
Boasting a rating of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes already, the Jordan Vogt-Roberts film from Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers will be hoping that enough of the public will venture out to make their own call. With a budget upwards of $190m, the studios need as many of them to do so as possible.
Owen Gleiberman of Variety argues that the installment is superior to any Kong title that has come before it, steering clear of the cliche ending in New York City.
"The surprise is that Skull Island isn’t just ten times as good as Jurassic World; it’s a rousing and smartly crafted primordial-beastie spectacular," starts the reviewer. "In many ways, Kong: Skull Island is a Jurassic Park movie — and if viewed that way, it’s the best since the first. The characters may be a touch minimal, but that doesn’t mean they’re boring; the actors fill them in... if the upcoming films prove to be as winning as this one, then audiences eager to get their old giant movie monster on should have nothing to fear."
Alex Welch from IGN agrees, stating that the change in setting helps this flick stand on it's own two feet away from what has come beforehand.
"While the aesthetic of this new adventure may be very different, it ends up evoking the same feeling that made King Kong such an icon in the first place. Even if this time, it’s coming to you with roaring electric guitars and napalm rather than Empire State Buildings and damsels in distress."
The Bad & Ugly
Awarding a 1/5 star review, Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian was scathing of the monster blockbuster.
"This fantastically muddled and exasperatingly dull quasi-update of the King Kong story looks like a zestless mashup of Jurassic Park, Apocalypse Now and a few exotic visual borrowings from Miss Saigon," he says. "It gets nowhere near the elemental power of the original King Kong or indeed Peter Jackson’s game remake; it’s something Ed Wood Jr might have made with a trillion dollars to do what he liked with but minus the fun."
Brian Formo of Collider cannot support the production either, failing to go past a C rating.
"If you hated Godzilla for not being a simple monster mash than this will probably be the graveyard smash that you want. Otherwise, it’s tonally all over the place and the effects aren’t as grand as necessary and the characters are even thinner."