Movie Review – Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull IslandKong: Skull Island poster

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts

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

Backstory

When they first announced Kong: Skull Island, my interest was only mild.  I mean, with Peter Jackson’s version just 10 years old, did we really need another King Kong reboot so soon?  But then came word that the production company, Legendary Pictures, got permission to mash it up with another of their films, the 2014 reboot of Godzilla, and give us a giant monster cinematic universe, officially dubbed “the MonsterVerse.”  My interest was escalated.  And with enough Scene points to see a movie for free, why not check out Kong: Skull Island?

Plot

The year is 1973.  The Americans are beginning to pull out of Vietnam.  Thanks to new and experimental satellite photographs, they mythical “Skull Island” has been discovered, and an expedition put together to explore it.  On our expedition is James Conrad, an ace tracker, Mason Weaver, a photojournalist who suspects it might be a military operation, Colonel Preston Packard, commander of their military escort, and government official Bill Randa, who has his own motives.  When they arrive on the island and being their aerial survey, their helicopters are smashed out of the sky by Kong, a giant ape.  Now, trapped on this island populated by monsters of all kinds, our heroes must fight to survive.  Some believe Kong to be a threat, and that me must be destroyed.  But others, like castaway Hank Marlow who’s been trapped on the island since World War II, says Kong protects them from the real threat.  Soon, lines are drawn.  Is Kong friend or foe?  And what are these other threats?  Will our heroes ever make it home?

What I Liked

My problem with giant monster movies is they always seem to have trouble coming up with interesting things for the humans to do.  But here, we’ve got some pretty good characters.  The standouts to me were Samuel L. Jackson as Packard, who grows more and more obsessed with bringing down Kong to avenge his dead troops, and John C. Reilly as Marlow, our castaway who has gone just a little bit loopy from his time on the island.  Throw in some great special effects and some wonderful giant monster fights, and it all adds up to a pretty good time.

What I Didn’t Like

Meh.  It follows the same general “lost world” formula that’s been followed ever since the original King Kong in 1933.  So you kind of know where things are going.

Final Verdict

A thoroughly entertaining giant monster outing.  Bring on the MonsterVerse!

3 Nibs