Tyler K. Lopez
BOOM BANG ROAR! Get ready for a giant-sized review! Well no actually. It’s probably just going to be a regular sized review, but it’s going to be about the biggest movie of the spring! Well maybe not that either, but it’s about the biggest gorilla every conceived! That’s actually true. This Kong is the biggest Kong. It’s bigger than your grandmamma’s Kong! Buckle up everyone, let’s talk about… Kong! Who just happens to be the King around this tropical island. Like some sort of… King Kong…
1- Writing: 4/10
Tough to start off on this note, but the writing for this movie is awful. The movie begins with about 30 minutes explaining the plot with clunky, boring dialogue. Interactions between characters feels like the actors are reading the script for the first time. Dan Gilroy wrote this screenplay and he’s pretty hit or miss. One movie he’s writing Nightcrawler and the next he’s writing Real Steel or The Bourne Legacy. This one leans much closer to Real Steel which is… real bad… I’m sorry. That was bad.
2- Direction: 5/10
The director for Kong was Jordan Vogt-Roberts who is famous for… well nothing. Sorry Jordan, but he really hasn’t directed much and it sort of shows in the movie. There’s some shots that are pretty jarring that sort of mess with your perception of the environment. The biggest problem with the movie though was the lack of a clear tone. Is it funny? Is it dramatic? Jordan never really established any sort of consistency. Not like my clearly dramatic and serious reviews! lol jk.
3- Cinematography: 9/10
Hey! What a good score! The movie is chock full of great, dramatic shots of a building sized ape, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddelston, and several other actors. It felt at times like the crew for this movie really just focused on these big moments instead of the movie itself, but who cares? Cool ape shots!
4- Acting: 5/10
Womp. Back to reality. The acting was horrendous. Sorry Brie, Tom, Samuel, John, John, Corey, John, and Tian! The best actor from this group was easily John C. Reilly which should tell you what you need to know considering the rest of the cast. Reilly was hysterical. Fans of Step Brothers will enjoy his performance in this movie.
5- Editing: 7/10
I was very tempted to go lower because of exactly how boring the first 30 minutes of this movie are, but the rest of the movie the action basically never stops. I guess that’s still bad pacing, but who cares? Cool ape stuff!
6- Sound: 8/10
In a movie about giant monsters that live on a tropical island being attacked by military personnel in the 70s there’s going to be some weird sounds. The sound team nailed it! I felt like I was watching a 100 foot tall ape fighting a lizard-snake monster! Or a giant water buffalo! Or one of the other crazy weird creatures on this crazy island!
7- Soundtrack/Score: 9/10
Probably the best part of the movie. Who doesn’t love 70s era rock songs? I mean probably a lot of people. Dumb question, scratch that. The better point is: they’re the perfect songs for the movie and really help add texture to the film. Boom. That’s some quality reviewing!
8- Production Design: 8/10
It definitely felt like I was looking at 70s era equipment in a jungle island surrounded by giant monsters. Definitely. I mean I don’t have a ton of references to 70s era electronics, but it all seemed to be in order to me. The acting took me out of the time period occasionally, but not the equipment. Except there was definitely a random triceratops skull that was absolutely not explained at all. In a movie about an ape the size of a large building fighting a snake-eel-alligator creature, the triceratops skull was really weird… mostly because nobody acknowledged how weird it was or why it was there!
9- Casting: 8/10
It was a great cast! Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddelston, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Dr. Dre, and Easy E? What’s not to love? It’s too bad the writing was so dreadful. It felt like a waste.
10- Effects: 8/10
I mean it’s a 100 foot tall ape beating up weird creatures with some quasi-dinosaur-type animals mixed in. You need some good effects to make something like that seem even almost, maybe, perhaps a little bit plausible… and the effects team took good care of it! Did it look like a real ape? Absolutely not. It looked way better because it was 100 feet tall. And fought crazy monsters. Shout out to Skywalker Ranch!
Overall Score: 7.1/10
Okay look. This isn’t groundbreaking cinema. This is a movie about a giant ape that fights giant monsters. If you go into the movie expecting a crazy ape fight with monsters, you’re going to get your wish! As long as you’re willing to not care about truly terrible dialogue, it’s going to be fun. The moments when Kong was on screen were as entertaining as anything you could ask for. You want a giant ape screaming and breaking stuff? You got it. Oh and of course there’s a few clever little call backs to older movies which I won’t spoil, but fans of old King Kong movies and old Samuel L. Jackson movies will know what’s up. In conclusion if you want to go eat some popcorn and watch some crazy stuff, I recommend this movie for you! ROOOOAAAAR! That’s Kong-speak for thanks for reading and please don’t bomb my island for no good reason!