|Kong: Skull Island|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jordan Vogt-Roberts|
|Produced by||Thomas Tull|
|Screenplay by||Dan Gilroy|
|Story by||John Gatins|
|Based on||King Kong |
by Merian C. Cooper
Samuel L. Jackson
John C. Reilly
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Editing by||Richard Pearson|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release date(s)||United States:|
March 10, 2017
|Running time||118 minutes|
|Preceded by||Godzilla - The Official Movie Novelization|
|Followed by||Kong: Skull Island - The Official Movie Novelization|
Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein, from a story by John Gatins and Gilroy. The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and will serve as the second film in Legendary's MonsterVerse.
During the Vietnam War in 1973, an uncharted island dubbed Skull Island is discovered. In the wake of this discovery, Monarch sets an expedition to the island where they will encounter many creatures never heard of or thought to be extinct, including the mighty ape monster Kong and learn the history of his species and become caught in the war between him and the predatory Skull Crawlers.
The film opens with a prologue in 1944 during World War II, showing an American bailing out of his damaged P-51 Mustang. He encounters a Japanese pilot on the beach and briefly fights him, but as they struggle with a sword, a giant ape suddenly appears, looming over the two and looks into the American soldier‘s eye as the the title credits roll.
In 1973, as the Vietnam War dies down, former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad is hired by government agent William Randa to guide an expedition to map out a mysterious uncharted region in the Pacific dubbed "Skull Island", which has never been mapped due to perpetual storms surrounding it. Randa also recruits the Sky Devils, a helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard and prominently made up of his right-hand, Major Jack Chapman and Captain Earl Cole to escort them to the island. The group is soon joined by "anti-war" photographer Mason Weaver, who is assigned to take pictures of the expedition, when in reality, she plans to expose it as the covert military operation she believes it to be.
Arriving on Skull Island, Packard's men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to determine if the ground is hollow, despite Conrad's objections. The helicopters are suddenly attacked by a 100 foot-tall ape by the name of Kong. All of the helicopters are destroyed as the beast throws a palm tree into one, and swats them out of the air like flies, and the survivors end up being split into small groups. In the midst of Kong's rampage, Packard stares up at Kong, interlocking eyes with him, filled with rage. The survivors' only hope for rescue is a resupply team that will meet them at the island's northern end in three days time.
When confronted by Packard, Randa reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch and the expedition's true purpose to acquire proof of the existence of forgotten monsters. Packard and his remaining men bury their dead comrades and begin searching for the missing members of the expedition, including Chapman. Along the way, they overcome a Mother Longlegs, slicing off its bamboo-like legs which topples it over (allowing Packard to finish it off with gunfire). In a river nearby, Chapman is washing and filling his water canteen, until Kong appears. Chapman flees, leaving Kong tending his wounds and drinking after his battle with the Sky Devils. He is then suddenly attacked by a Mire Squid, which he manages to kill (and proceeds to eat as well) before leaving the river.
Meanwhile, Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin, soldier Reg Slivko, and Landsat employee Victor Nieves run into the local Iwi natives and meet Hank Marlow, revealed to be the missing pilot who crash-landed on the island in 1944 with a Japanese pilot. Marlow explains that Kong is the island's guardian and worshiped by the natives for protecting them from the Skull Crawlers, reptilian underground monsters who have slaughtered Kong's parents and ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. Marlow reveals Kong only attacked the helicopters to prevent the bombs from awakening Ramarak: the largest and deadliest of the Skull Crawlers, dubbed by Marlow as "The Big One". He also reveals that "The Big One" will doom everyone and everything on the island should anything happen to Kong.
After bonding with the natives, Weaver encounters a Sker Buffalo trapped under a fallen helicopter just outside the village. She struggles vainly to free the large beast but Kong comes and saves the buffalo, exchanging glances with Weaver before departing. Marlow shows Conrad and the others a boat made from parts of Marlow's plane and that of the Japanese pilot he befriended before he was killed by a Skull Crawler, and they spend the rest of the day fixing it. The following day, Conrad's group sets off down the river in the now-functioning boat, where they are beset by Psychovultures, which carry off and devour Nieves. The survivors manage to regroup with Packard, who insists on searching for Chapman, who - unbeknownst to them - has already been killed by a Skullcrawler after encountering a Spore Mantis. Marlow reluctantly leads both Conrad and Packard's team to The Boneyard, a forgotten battleground between Kong's ancestors and Skull Crawlers. The same Skull Crawler that killed Chapman attacks the group by killing Randa and many of Packard's men before Weaver kills it by triggering an explosion using Conrad's lighter. A vengeful Packard blames Kong for the deaths of his men and retrieves seismic explosives to lure Kong into a trap and kill him, while Conrad resolves to lead the non-military personnel back to the boat so they can rendezvous with the resupply team.
Later that night, while scouting the path ahead, Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong up-close, seeing that he is in fact a gentle and intelligent creature to those that do him no harm. Suddenly, explosions sound off in the distance and Kong goes toward them. Knowing of Packard's vendetta, Conrad tells Brooks and Lin to return to the boat while he and Weaver resolve to save Kong (a sentiment that Marlow shares). Packard's napalm trap incapacitates Kong, and he orders his men to set explosives around the fallen creature but before he can finish the ape off, Conrad, Weaver, and Marlow arrive and a standoff ensues. Conrad and Weaver convince the other soldiers to spare Kong, but Packard furiously refuses, still seeking vengeance for his fallen men. The group is suddenly attacked by a giant Skull Crawler, which emerges from beneath the swamp near the fallen Kong. Everyone flees except Packard, who tries to detonate the explosives in a last act of revenge, but Kong recovers and crushes him with his fist.
Injured, Kong is overpowered by the massive opponent, which then chases the survivors as they race towards the shore and dawn comes. Cole sacrifices himself to ensure the survival of his young comrades, arming grenades to supposedly kill the Skull Crawler after it eats him. However, the creature is not fooled, and it swats him away with its tail, killing him as the grenades explode on the side of a mountain but Cole's sacrifice buys enough time for Kong to show up and save the others, bashing the Skull Crawler's head with a boulder. Weaver climbs a tall cliff and fires a flare to guide Brooks and Lin to their location. Kong battles the Skull Crawler, at one point wielding a massive tree. However, the Skull Crawler uses its tail to throw Kong into a sunken boat and he gets entangled in its chains. As the Skull Crawler closes in for the kill, Brooks and Lin arrive on the boat and open fire on the beast. Enraged, he turns his attention to the humans, buying Kong enough time to break free. Weaver fires a flare at the Skull Crawler, destroying its right eye, and Conrad lures it away from the survivors on the boat. Using a boat propeller attached to a chain, Kong impales the massive Skull Crawler with it, uses the chain to reel him in, and throws the Skull Crawler into the side of the cliff Weaver is standing on, accidentally causing her to fall into the river. Then Kong uses the propeller to slice open his adversary's throat, seemingly killing him.
Weaver almost drowns but she is rescued by Kong. Unfortunately, the giant Skull Crawler is still alive and it attacks Kong with Weaver clutched in his hand. Then the Skull Crawler wraps his tongue around Kong's hand and pulls it down his throat in an attempt to devour Weaver. Kong uses this to his advantage, and with a violent yank of the Skull Crawler's tongue, tears out the creature's innards, finally killing him for good, avenging the deaths of his parents, and the extinction of the rest of his kind. With the creature finally dead, Kong gently sets Weaver down, looks back at her and Conrad and wanders off, peacefully allowing the surviving humans to leave. As helicopters arrive to take the survivors home, Kong reappears. Watching them leave in his eye, he beats his chest and roars fiercely, asserting his reign as the King of Skull Island.
Sometime afterward, Marlow returns home and is reunited with his wife and meets his now-adult son for the first time. He is later shown enjoying a beer and a hot dog as he watches his long-missed favorite sports on TV.
In a post-credits scene, Conrad and Weaver are held in a room by Monarch, where Brooks reveals they have been recruited by the organization. Brooks and Lin debrief them that Kong is not the only monster to roam the world, and not the only king. They are then shown archive footage showing cave paintings, depicting silhouetted images recognizable as a bipedal spiked Dinosaur, a winged pterosaur-like creature, gigantic Moth, and three-headed dragon, before showing one final painting of the dinosaur and the three-headed dragon engaged in combat. As the screen fades to black, a loud, familiar roar is heard: none other than that of the King of the Monsters himself...Godzilla.
- Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad
- Samuel L. Jackson as Preston Packard
- John Goodman as William "Bill" Randa
- Brie Larson as Mason Weaver
- Jing Tian as San Lin
- Toby Kebbell as Jack Chapman
- John Ortiz as Victor Nieves
- Corey Hawkins as Houston Brooks
- Jason Mitchell as Glenn Mills
- Shea Whigham as Earl Cole
- Thomas Mann as Reg Slivko
- Terry Notary as Kong (motion capture)
- John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow