Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Tian Jing, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins (Rated M – 120 Min).
Attention grabbing monster movie magic at its absolute best beginning with an astonishing crash sequence on a tropical island. It only gets more hair raising as the film moves forward into grandiose adventure.
Set during the early 1970s, a team of soldiers and scientists are on the trail of a mythical enclave in the Pacific where prehistoric like creatures are meant to inhabit. Peaceful existence of nature is about to be interrupted as the group separate to explore across the region. It isn’t long until fast moving over sized reptiles are in hot pursuit, however the king of the jungle has yet to reveal himself.
Top of the food chain on this particular island is behemoth King Kong who appears in one of the most exciting, unforgettable brilliantly filmed scenes you will ever see. Filmed mostly on location in Queensland Australia and on islands of Hawaii, authenticity is vibrant.
Mystery surrounds the foot soldiers real intentions on capturing the beast in no uncertain terms or welfare of the being to take him back to the mainland at all costs. Of course the expert chemists are about as unhappy on the idea as the primate himself.
Solid action never lets up with subtle humour injected at just the right moments. If one suffers from arachnophobia, forget about seeing this as a giant spider attack takes up significant screen time but this is a famous part of the original King Kong story so will be no surprise to enthusiasts.
Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room) leads a fine human cast. Samuel L. Jackson is, as usual, on fire with quips and deceiving tough guy aura as Colonel Packard. Full tilt war movie swagger mixed with high stakes suspense just works here. Kiwi auteur Peter Jackson directed his own 2005 epic homage to the 1933 groundbreaking classic film version.
Over the years, the eighth wonder of the world has featured in variable unique versions including: 1986 guilty pleasure King Kong Lives, stupid 1967 King Kong Escapes where the chest beating primate battles a robot replica of himself, and 1976 flop with Jeff Bridges in hot pursuit of the colossal gorilla.
This new version is a blockbuster cinematic experience in every sense of the word. Filmmakers have made sure thrill levels are high with exhausting no holds barred special effects revolved around a decent interesting, familiar plot.
All in all, look at this as a teaser for the planned main event, Godzilla vs King Kong. Everything old is new again.
Shane A. Bassett