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Kong: Skull Island ****

The best King Kong movie since the original. A character that since its premiere in cinemas in 1933 has become an icon for the cinema, an icon with two remakes, the last of them, directed by Peter Jackson. It is very difficult to revisit that character without repeating previous schemes and themes, and that is something that Jordan Vogt-Roberts film fully achieves. A trip to Skull Island in which we will not see New York, nor a Beauty and the Beast love story, but a display of adventure, action and great visual effects that on one hand brilliantly honors King Kong and on the other is a homage to the war movies of the 70s, with Apocalypse Now at the top.

No, I'm not comparing Kong with Coppola's masterpiece, much less. Neither in subjects, nor in depth ... Nothing has to do with it. But this film does offer various visual tributes to that and the Vietnam War in movies in general. To the cinema of the 70 in particular visually, to offer a visual spectacle of first order, pure entertainment that also keeps a couple of pleasant surprises. From the design of the island, Kong itself, the locations or the creatures that inhabit it (moving away from the typical dinosaurs to give us a new series of monsters ... like that terrifying giant spider), passing through the action of the movie, the tone of the film itself, more focused on Kong than in humans.

Being completely twinned with Godzilla, with a crossover between both already announced, Vogt-Roberts does not make the mistake of hiding the monster until the end of the tape. From the first moment we are aware of the presence of the gigantic (more than ever) gorilla, and in just half an hour we will be enjoying the sensational showdown between him and the choppers. It is a Kong more brutal and powerful than ever. It is enough to see not only his incredible fights (the one against the octopus is a great example) but his relationship with the character of Brie Larson. Where once there was romance, here he establishes a relation of respect between the protector of the island and its visitor. No nonsense. And no skating on the ice, thank god. The film is very conscious of what we have seen in the past and for that reason it tries to escape of it from the beginning.

Yes it is true that the cast, sensational as it is, does not have much to catch with its characters, mere puppets in the world of Kong. Some like John Goodman or Samuel L. Jackson, a sort of captain Ahab trying to kill Moby Dick, have a bit more background, but not others like Tom Hiddleston or even Brie Larson. It doesn’t matter. The absolute protagonist is Kong and the humans are more like spectators of the power of the ape and the creatures of the island. And what a protagonist. The visual display, the fights between monsters, the tireless rhythm ... It is cinema of evasion and entertainment of at its best. A magnificent and exuberant spectacle like King Kong itself, that takes advantage of all the elements that have at its disposal, all the tributes and all the charm of the myth and the legend. And with a very nice post-credit scene. What I said, cinema of evasion and show in pure state. A more than worthy successor to the throne of the king.

Jesús Usero

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