Kong: Skull Island is a brand new take on one of cinema’s first – and still most iconic – giant monster movies. But those expecting yet another remake will be in for a pleasant surprise. Here’s nine reasons to catch what’s bound to be a monster smash hit on the biggest screen you can find.
1. An epic Kong on an epic screen
At four times the size of Peter Jackson’s vision of King Kong, Skull Island’s most famous resident is now a colossal 100ft tall. Such a magnificently massive primate deserves to be seen on an equally magnificently massive screen, and you can do just that at Vue in beautiful 4K in 2D, 3D or IMAX 3D. You’ll feel so close to the belligerent primate you’ll swear you can smell his breath.
2. A new story
As the title suggests, this isn’t the same King Kong tale first told in 1933 and subsequently retold in 1976 and 2005. After all, who wants to send Kong to New York when he lives on an island full of incredible – and often terrifying – other monsters? While it’s promised that the film will be respectful to existing King Kong lore, Skull Island takes place in a completely new timeline for reasons that will become very clear if you stick around after the credits.
3. An amazing cast
Kong: Skull Island features one of the best blockbuster ensemble casts in recent memory. Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Brie Larson looks set to subvert the damsel in distress archetype as war photojournalist Mason Weaver, an incredibly buff and tanned Tom Hiddleston is former soldier turned hunter-tracker James Conrad, and the always dependable Samuel L. Jackson is Preston Packard, the leader of a helicopter squadron who develops a thirst for revenge against a certain giant ape.
This is what you’re paying to see on the big screen: the epic spectacle of gigantic creatures from a long-forgotten era beating the merry hell out of each other for our entertainment.
4. Seriously, it’s an amazing cast
Clearly this is a film where the humans matter as much as the monsters, because you’ve also got John Goodman as Bill Randa, a government official leading the expedition with a secret to hide; John C. Reilly playing Hank Marlow, a World War II Lieutenant who has been stranded on Skull Island for 28 years, and Toby Kebbell as Jack Chapman, Preston Packard’s right-hand man. There’s also a host or promising young talent, including Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell, and Me, Earl and the Dying Girl’s Thomas Mann.
5. The MonsterVerse
Legendary, the studio behind Kong: Skull Island also produced the most recent Hollywood iteration of Godzilla. Coincidence? Of course not. In this post-Marvel world, everyone is racing to create the next big shared cinematic universe, and none are doing this quite as literally as Legendary. The link was confirmed when a promotional poster for Skull Island distributed at last year’s New York Comic-Con contained hidden references to Monarch, the same secret government agency introduced in Godzilla. It’s also a fairly poorly kept secret that Godzilla vs. King Kong is scheduled for 2020.
6. Explosive action
When you pit a heavily armed helicopter squadron against a 100ft ape, sparks are going to fly. Well, probably a lot more than sparks. Bombs will be dropped, choppers will be swatted from the sky and vast swathes of Skull Island’s beautiful, untouched forestry is going to go up in vast walls of flame. When you see this feast of pyrotechnics burning up the big screen, you’ll think someone’s been tinkering with the air con.
7. Skin-crawling skullcrawlers
Kong might be the biggest threat the human cast has to deal with on Skull Island, but it might not be the deadliest. As witnessed in the trailers, the island is also home to Skullcrawlers, horrific subterranean reptiles with two giant limbs and terrifyingly skeletal features. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts describes them as a fusion of the two-armed pit lizard from the original King Kong and a variety of anime influences, including the first angel from Neon Genesis Evangelion, No-Face from Spirited Away and, surprisingly, Cubone from Pokémon.
8. Monster on monster mayhem
It’s abundantly clear where Kong fancies himself on the Skull Island food chain, although sometimes it’s necessary to remind his fellow monsters who the alpha ape is. So, when Skullcrawlers are attempting to eat your new human guests, a polite pummelling is an effective means of asserting your dominance. But seriously, this is what you’re paying to see on the big screen: the epic spectacle of gigantic creatures from a long-forgotten era beating the merry hell out of each other for our entertainment.
9. Stunning special effects
Hard as it is to believe, Skull Island’s creators haven’t trained a real 100ft primate to act, nor have they used clever Lord of the Rings-style effects to make a normal monkey look much bigger than the humans. We’ve seen incredible leaps in CG effects work in the 12 years that have elapsed since Kong last caused chaos on the big screen, and Skull Island appears to take full advantage of them. No overreliance on darkness to hide the joins here; the bone-crunching monster-on-monster rumbles here are proudly presented in broad daylight.
Book your tickets here to guarantee a front-row seat for Kong: Skull Island’s king-sized action when it releases nationwide on 9th March.