Current Issue: Friday, June 1st, 2018


Interrobang Archives

Have you ever left a movie feeling scammed?


Kong: Skull Island is a confused, tedious, star-studded money grab.

Chris Russell | Interrobang | Lifestyles | March 20th, 2017

Kong: Skull Island is an action, adventure, monster movie and reboot of the King Kong franchise in which a group of explorers are stranded on a never before explored island called Skull Island, host to a 100 foot tall ape known as Kong and a variety of strange and dangerous creatures.

The film is set in 1973; you know this because the title sequence is set to a collage of recognizable era-relevant footage. Then the retro soundtrack kicks in and for the rest of the movie there is a constant stream of visual references so that you don’t forget.

Government agent Bill Randa hires a team of specialists including a former British Special Air Service captain named James Conrad, a helicopter squadron called the Sky Devils led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard, and photojournalist Mason Weaver to explore and map out the previously uncharted Skull Island.

The island is surrounded by dangerous weather conditions, so the team must navigate a deadly electrical storm in helicopters, an event which, like all events in the movie, is built up for way too long, is visually interesting but only briefly, then comes to an anti-climactic conclusion.

The helicopters encounter Kong who destroys a number of helicopters and stranding two groups on land who fight to survive and combat their strange and dangerous surroundings.

The survivors are the main cast, the people you’ve been properly introduced to, while the many helicopter occupants who you watch tragically die are never introduced, leaving you to wonder things like, “Wait, who are these people dying? How many helicopters actually are there? How did all these people survive?”

The pacing of this movie is intolerable; it feels like everything is drawn out for as long as possible to fill time and the feeling of suspense practically never ends and by the time it does, it is so anti-climactic that it is more frustrating than relieving. Every event that transpires in the movie serves a blatant purpose in setting up the next event at the most shallow passable level to drive the generic plot.

There is no depth to any of the characters. They are basic archetypes with just enough background to set up the simple motivations that drive the plot and as a result there isn’t enough substance to get you invested, and no room for significant character development. Everything is made to be as painfully easy to comprehend as possible.

The cast of this movie is great, but massively hindered by cheesy dialogue, boring characters and goofy post-production choices. John C. Reilly, as Hank Marlow, is an interesting and bold casting choice, known for his unique, quirky, oddball, comedic style in Tim and Eric Awesome Show and Step Brothers. His appearance raises hopes for a bit of comedic focus.

It’s hard to tell what tone the movie is going for. There are many instances of out of place, dumb jokes that clash with the air of serious realism and in some cases, it’s impossible to tell whether a scene is supposed to be interpreted as humour or tragedy. A lot of humour falls flat in confusion.

The cinematography in this movie is designed to make everything look and feel as dramatic and epic as possible, and it does so with indulgence and tastelessness that culminates in cheesiness.

The special effects in Kong: Skull Island are well done yet still somehow underwhelming. There are scenes where helicopters are pulled from the sky by Kong that are filmed from the perspective of the helicopter occupants struggling to hold on, losing all sense of direction while they are spun around by the giant gorilla before facing death. It’s visually awesome and could be seen as a stunning achievement except that it feels excessive, being drawn out and repeated until you’re no longer impressed. There is an unnatural quality to the way the spinning effect is animated, perhaps so that you can tolerate to look at it, but it still hurts your eyes.

The design of all the creatures in this movie is excellent, however the general quality of the CGI is somewhat lacking with lot of movement feel slightly slow motion or else simply unnatural.


Summer 2018 Movie Guide
Get ready students because summer is here and with it, a whole slew of new movies to enjoy this break. Read more

London's update on the Ontario Film Commission location library
The City of London is moving towards becoming a popular destination for movie and TV producers from around the world. Read more

Mom and Dad: Frivolous and twisted
What was first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival back in 2017, Mom and Dad finally got its international release in 2018. While this film is definitely not Oscar worthy, it had a twisted plot and was a lot of fun to watch. Read more

Annihilation: Insightful film that takes time to understand
Annihilation is a thought-provoking science fiction horror film that will leave the audience wondering about various events of the film long after they have left the theater Read more

Hellraiser Judgement: A gory rebirth
Hellraiser Judgement takes a fresh look on the series where three detectives are trying to hunt down a gruesome serial killer who is terrorizing the town. Read more

Fanshawe students Save Now!