King Kong is a must see

Zachery Halsey, Staff Writer

2017 begins with a definite bang this year with films on the silver screen. The superhero franchise kicked it off great with the hit movie “Logan.” Horror movie-goers’ hunger was satisfied with Jordan Peele’s successful movie “Get Out,” which is great because horror kind of started out a little inadequate this year, looking at you, “Bye Bye Man.” If you are a monster movie lover like I am, you may have been feeling a little peckish for more leviathans on the silver screen ever since viewing that boring excuse for a Godzilla movie in 2014. The ending of “Godzilla” was great, but you shouldn’t have to fight to stay awake until the end just for a good fight scene. All of these mistakes are made up for in the latest monster movie, “King Kong: Skull Island.”

The movie starts out right away with action when two fighter pilots are shot down on an island during World War II. The two pilots, one from the United States, the other from Japan, reach the beach safely and understandably begin to try to kill each other. Just as one soldier begins to give the finishing blow, they are interrupted by the big guy himself, Kong. It is almost like the production company heard enough whining from Godzilla fans about how there wasn’t enough of the overgrown iguana so they said, “Screw this, let’s drown these geeks with monsters.” I love that they put no hold on Kong in this film, and even if he wasn’t around, you would see another cool, sometimes horrifying, monster.

While the film is packed with a rich cast of characters, all filling their roles perfectly, there are two performances in this movie that stand out that you have to see. Samuel L. Jackson takes on the role of Preston Packard, a lieutenant colonel who escorts the scientists to Skull Island with his helicopter squadron. Packard has a vendetta against Kong after the great ape kills many of his squadron. The movie is almost split into two story lines, one being basically Sam Jackson vs. a giant gorilla. You can just feel his hatred come through the screen and it is beautiful. The second story line is led by the other best actor of the film, John C. Riley as Lieutenant Hank Marlow. Marlow is one of the fighter pilots from the beginning of the movie who was shot down on Skull Island and had been there for 28 years. I was honestly really squeamish when I heard that Riley was going to be in this film since I just see him being too goofy. After seeing five minutes of Riley’s portrayal of Marlow I changed my tune real fast. While Marlow is a funny character who has understandably lost bits of his mind over the past years, he also shows that he is a lieutenant and very resourceful. He also has some great emotional scenes where he talks about how he survived the island this long because of his friend, the other fighter pilot who died a while back.

Kong is wonderful movie with rich characters and some amazing monkey vs. monster action scenes. It truly is the saving grace of the monster movie franchise in my opinion and I hope it leads to many more successful films. There is already talk of the King coming back and facing Godzilla. Until then, buy a ticket, grab a coke and watch “King Kong: Skull Island.”