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Kong: Skull Island (2017)

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After the Vietnam war, a team of scientists explores an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

Writers:

Dan Gilroy (screenplay by), Max Borenstein (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
451 ( 109)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hiddleston ... James Conrad
Samuel L. Jackson ... Preston Packard
Brie Larson ... Mason Weaver
John C. Reilly ... Hank Marlow
John Goodman ... Bill Randa
Corey Hawkins ... Houston Brooks
John Ortiz ... Victor Nieves
Tian Jing ... San
Toby Kebbell ... Jack Chapman / Kong
Jason Mitchell ... Mills
Shea Whigham ... Cole
Thomas Mann ... Slivko
Eugene Cordero ... Reles
Marc Evan Jackson ... Landsat Steve
Will Brittain ... Young Marlow / Marlow's Son
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Storyline

A washed up monster chaser convinces the U.S. Government to fund a trip to an unexplored island in the South Pacific. Under the guise of geological research, the team travels to "Skull Island". Upon arrival, the group discover that their mission may be complicated by the wildlife which inhabits the island. The beautiful vistas and deadly creatures create a visually stunning experience that is sure to keep your attention. Written by Jason Burns

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We don't belong here See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | China

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

10 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Skull Island See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$185,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,025,472, 12 March 2017

Gross USA:

$168,052,812

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$566,652,812
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Various direct references to King Kong (1933) occur throughout the film, such as when Kong is seen fighting off helicopters like the original Kong battled planes in New York City, and Kong being briefly held back by chains is reminiscent of Kong being put on display for an audience. The lead female character comforting Kong is also a recurring theme throughout several Kong films. See more »

Goofs

Kong changes sizes between various scenes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill Randa: Mark my words. There'll never be a more screwed up time in Washington. But we can't let it stop us.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: There is a scene after the closing credits: Brooks and Lin meet Conrad and Weaver and show them records that indicate other monsters existing on Earth; the monsters seen are Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Godzilla. The scene ends with Godzilla's roar. This leads into Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). See more »

Connections

References Godzilla (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Mat Troi Den
Written by Nguyen Trung Cang
Performed by Minh Xuân
Courtesy of Lang Van Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Big on action, thrills and pure spectacle and lean on everything else, this latest iteration of pop culture's mightiest simian is good old monster mash fun
7 March 2017 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

No sequel, spin off or remake has come close to matching up to the mythology of the 1933 classic, and just to be sure, neither does this latest iteration of pop culture's mightiest simian. Instead, this origin story largely set in the 1970s when America was pulling itself out from the quagmire of the Vietnam War inspires to be no more and no less than a monster-mash adventure of epic-sized proportions, pitting not just Man-against-Kong but Man-against- nature-itself, the latter represented by supersized species the likes of towering spiders, blue-blooded pterodactyls and giant saw- toothed lizards referred to as Skullcrawlers that are all too eager to get a literal taste of human flesh. Oh yes, this is a CGI showstopper in many, many more ways than one, with state-of-the-art Industrial Light and Magic technology complemented with inventive creature design by Carlos Huante to create a fitting modern-day throwback to the B-movie action-driven creature features of the past.

Dispensing with any hint of nuance, the straightforward and utterly functional plot has John Goodman's scientist cum bureaucrat Bill Randa assemble a team under his top-secret government-funded Monarch project to explore the hitherto uncharted Skull Island, a long- hidden landmass in the South Pacific hidden by constant electrical storms and magnetic interference which has been only recently uncovered by the first Earth-mapping satellites sent up into space by the US. Among those whom end up one way or another on the mission: Tom Hiddleston's former SAS officer turned tracker-for-hire James Conrad, Brie Larson's anti-war photojournalist Mason Weaver, and last but not least Samuel L. Jackson's embittered Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard and his helicopter squadron (some of the more recognizable faces include Shea Whigham and Toby Kebbell). There are about a half dozen other characters too difficult to keep track once the film gets underway, such as Jing Tian and Corey Hawkins' pair of token-minority scientists who get a couple of pointless lines and no real purpose.

Withholding knowledge of the real intent of the expedition to "document the existence of massive unidentified terrestrial organisms', Randa instructs Colonel Packard's men to start dropping bombs from their helicopters under the guise of mapping the island seismographically, which naturally irritates the hell out of its eponymous chief resident. Kong's grand dramatic entrance consists of hurling a napalm tree towards one of the choppers, before tearing through each and every one of them by either ripping them apart or tossing them against each other. Oh yes, you'll be glad to know that (unlike Randa) Kong doesn't hold anything back right from the get- go, meaning that you will get to see him in all his massive vicious glory in every single scene that he is in. That awesome introduction not only cuts the ensemble down to those in the opening credits and divides them into two groups, but also sets up the enmity between Kong and Packard.

Given the simplicity of the storyline, it is no surprise that the characters are but stock types – in fact, the most fully developed character only joins midway through the film, a WWII vet named Hank Marlowe (John C. Reilly) who survived the Japanese pilot after him when both their fighter planes crash-land back in 1944 and has since learned to live peacefully among the natives there. Reilly steals every scene he is in – more than just as supporting comic presence, he is a real live wire injecting warmth, humour and dryness as an eccentric lost-in-time pilot. Jackson comes a close second with his brash gusto, but the rest of the actors are not much better than as body count.

But really, who are we kidding – you're probably not here for the story or the characters but the damn ape himself, and boy, does he look magnificent. With tactile fur and soulful eyes, Kong comes to life in breathtaking realism, aided with motion capture by 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' actor Terry Notary. This Kong is majestic on his own (one such moment has him taking a break in a lake while Kebbell's terrified major watches from behind a rock a few feet away), and jaw- droppingly powerful during any one of the startlingly photoreal sequences of bestial combat. It bears noting that the monsters which emerge to challenge Kong or which simply make an appearance as part of the fauna of the titular island are also just as stunning, especially a confrontation in a foggy graveyard between the remaining survivors and a Skullcrawler and the climactic Kong- versus-giant-Skullcrawler smackdown that is impressive even by modern-day CGI standards.

Despite being a visual effects novice, indie director Jordan Vogt- Roberts proves right at home in a big-budget motion picture. He creates an immersive pre-historic paradise to complement the exciting monster scenes, and mixes 70s war imageries from 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Platoon' into the 'Jurassic Park' setting to keep his audience hooked. Because of his firm grasp on pace and rhythm, what is two hours feels much less so – and if there is one unintended outcome of that, it is the fact that we end up wanting to see more of Kong. As much as it is Kong's movie, there are also stretches in between where he is nowhere to be seen, and the other nasty dino-like creatures on Skull Island take center stage to exert terror on the human intruders.

Ultimately, this is a movie fashioned on pure action spectacle, using state-of-the-art CGI to breathe new life into the old-school monster movie mash genre (you would do well to note that this is meant to be an origin story in Legendary/ Warner's MonsterVerse franchise, setting up the beast for a planned showdown against Godzilla in 2020). It may all seem familiar, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun or thrilling, so really just grab your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the ride.


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