The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Kong: Skull Island (3/10/2017)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language.

Starring Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Samuel L. Jackson, Toby Kebbell and John C. Reilly

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Todd's Rating: Worth Buying

Dynamic ImageKing Kong has never looked so good.

Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Kong: Skull Island is a fresh take on the classic tale of a giant ape on a remote island. And when a scientific expedition arrives on this remote island, the giant ape and other titanic forces of nature awake. The mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monsters and man.

As you might expect, Kong: Skull Island has some amazing special effects. Kong is both bigger and more realistic than ever before. His facial expressions are more expressive and his teeth and roars are more terrifying. And the attention to detail is amazing. When he mends his wounds in one of the island’s pools, the digital water around him shifts and splashes, creating waterfall effects that look like vacation postcards.

That being said, this Kong isn’t just another computer-generated effect; he’s a character. And as crazy as it sounds, he quickly became my favorite character. His costars were good, but just couldn’t measure up – see what I did there?

In all seriousness, the cast, including Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman and Brie Larson all deliver pretty solid performances. But John C. Reilly had the most memorable role. Not only is he the comic relief, but also is the character that brings the other characters (and the audience) up to speed. I may be alone here, but I was not the biggest fan of Samuel L. Jackson’s character. His journey into darkness was uncomfortable to watch.

I understand the director was comparing and contrasting Kong and Lieutenant Colonel Packard. When the film begins we believe that Kong is the villain and Packard is the hero, but that quickly changes. We even saw both characters clinch their fist to alert the audience of what was happening.

Although Kong is built on excitement, terror, and special effects, the most interesting fact is how the film manages to engage your sense of empathy for the giant ape.

I loved Kong… to me it’s “Worth Buying.”

NOTE: Make sure you stay for the post-credits scene.

There is no sex or nudity in the film.

There is however plenty of violence and gore. The film contains many scenes of intense action between the humans and the giant creatures that inhabit the island. These scenes are shown in quick cuts, showing the peril the characters face and their reactions.

Some of the stronger scenes include a prolonged sequence which contains various shots of helicopters being knocked out of the sky by Kong; a brief scene where a man is shown impaled by the leg of a giant insect; a scene where Kong grapples violently with a giant lizard and pulls out its innards; etc.

There are 3 F-words and about 10 S-words.

  1. In the beginning of the film, what was motivating Lt. Col. Packard?

  2. As the film went on, what did his motivation to change do?

  3. Read Romans 12:19

      Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, “I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.”

  4. What does this passage tell us about revenge?

  5. What should we do the next time we are motivated to get even with someone?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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