Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Skull Island

Oh thank you God!! What a breath of fresh air!

Skull Island is actually pretty friggin' good. Entirely different production team, different animation style, maaaaybe is "canon" in the Monsterverse, and well worth the time. Following a group of seafarers who get shipwrecked on an uncharted isle with Gilligan and the Skipper too, oh wait. Different show. But they get stranded on monster ridden Skull Island and over the duration of a short and sweet 8 episode season make an attempt to survive and escape, it takes a little bit of the same story outline as the film Kong Skull Island but it does more than plenty in terms of originality and character. The thing that really took me by surprise and shows just how different the east and west do their shows, this almost becomes a comedy! There is a lot of for lack of a better term flippancy in the dialogue but not a bad kind, where the characters don't take anything seriously so you don't take anything seriously, there's some attitude and sarcasm but you like these characters, it was easy to get invested and how the storyline progresses is nothing like you would expect. Our crew of teenagers Charlie and Mark along with Charlie's dad Cap run into a band of mercenaries on the island and you think oh snap, not only do they have to evade the 100% carnivarous population of monsters (Seriously not a single leaf eater present??) but they also need to avoid the trigger happy hired help, but nope! They meet up rather quick and are like, screw this island let's GTFO, and that's exactly what they do. You keep expecting some human antagonist to pop up but they never do, the problem is the creatures inhabiting the island, so it's such a welcome change of pace! All the characters are solid, some have more backstory than others but at the end of the day you can't hate any of them. Charlie and Mark are stalwart friends who bitch more than an old married couple but they don't mean it, Annie is a fucking bonkers girl but she's pretty awesome, Cap and the leader of the mercs Irene have good chemistry and fully acknowledge they are so over their heads and are just trying to get out alive, it's surprisingly honest and candid how the characters voice their mind and feelings. Similar to Singular Point, Kong himself is not really the focal point of the show but when he does show up you see the scale and power of him and towards the end you get a lot more of him, they did good work with his personality and even sheds a bit of history from his past. Abundance of monsters throughout, and yeah they're not exactly as inventive as say the Skullcrawlers or that weird stick insect that looked like a log in the movie and is more typical jungle predators but hey it never gets dull. The animation style is anime-esque that you would see on Toonami in recent years akin to say Sword Art Online or something similar, lot of good color variety and fluid style. They really did cover all their bases in production terms and nor did they try to be grander or more complicated than needed, the director and series writer knew the tone he wanted and how to accomplish that and I feel he succeeded greatly. It's a 3-ish hour adventure romp with good humor, good characters, and an extra little something for us Monsterverse fans during the downtime between movies. The series just hit Netflix last year and no doubt season two is in pre-production, I'm all onboard to see what happens next and whether or not the new Godzilla & Kong movie has any influence on it. Because it's sorta a sequel to Kong Skull Island but at the exact same time does things of it's own and there's no surefire timetable as to when it takes place, you don't see smartphones or anything modern but it clearly is post 70s, so I wouldn't say it's pivotal viewing for the movie fans just take it more as a cherry on top of this rich dense sundae we've been getting since 2014. I greatly enjoyed it, it's a fun show, and put me in such high better spirits so Godzilla × Kong could be the zenith of this wave of happiness for me come Friday. Solid 3 stars, 8/10!

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