Film Review: Kong: Skull Island

by Evan Brown

Rated M. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

All Hail The King.

I know what you are thinking. You’re asking yourself, “Another King Kong movie? Do we really need another remake?”  The answer is probably no, but Warner Bros decided to reboot it anyway without consulting us. This time they’ve decided to throw in a star studded cast (including an Academy Award winning actress) along with an up-and-coming director paired with Lucas Arts’ visual effects team Industrial Light and Magic.  And you know what? It’s surprisingly good.

Set at the end of the Vietnam war and the start of the satellite age, an unidentified island (aka Skull Island) is discovered in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Scientist Bill Randa (Goodman) along with a photographer (Larson), a tracker (Hiddleston) and a military escort fronted by Samuel. L Jackson lead an expedition to explore the undiscovered Skull Island.  What could go wrong?

Soon after landing on Skull Island the team realise that they have made a huge mistake and it isn’t just giant gorillas that they should be afraid of.

I came into this movie expecting another remake with a cringe-worthy script and a facelift of new CGI that still looked bad. However, it didn’t take long before I was eating humble-pie and enjoying myself. The remake is fresh, the cringe-worthy moments in the script were few and far between and the CGI was pretty believable. To me it was reminiscent of Jurassic Park and Aliens, movie classics in their own right that mixed the action movie genre with a touch of horror.  There were moments of epic action and pure terror as I watched the team of travellers battle their way across the island. Kong: Skull Island’s deep character development amongst all its characters created a sense of empathy in me as they were slowly killed off by the horrors of the island.

A major theme that runs through Kong is “Who is King?”  As humans, we are so used to the idea that we are rulers of our own lives and when something comes along that suggests otherwise we quickly reject it. Samuel L. Jackson’s character Packer can’t handle the fact that the king on Skull Island is Kong, and tries everything he can to restore human autonomy.

Being rulers of our own lives is something very different to the way Christians view and interact with the world. God is the loving King of the world. He made it and made us rulers of the world under Him. However, we have rejected our King, and try to rule life our own way without Him. Romans 3:10-12:

“There is no-one righteous, not even one; there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. All have turned away.”

This has resulted in our separation from God.  But God made a way to restore this relationship by the death and resurrection of His son Jesus.  Acknowledgement of Jesus as your King and ruler will reunite you in relationship with God – the one who made us all.

The Verdict: Give Kong: Skull Island a chance.  Although many previous remakes have been quite terrible this one far outshines them all.  If you loved Jurassic Park then you will probably enjoy this too. 3.5/5

Kong: Skull Island opens in Australian cinemas this Thursday, 9th March and in the USA this Friday, 10th March.

For more film reviews from a Christian perspective, connect with Reel Gospel on Facebook and Twitter.

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