Kong Skull Island is every bit as monstrous as you want it to be. It’s a 100-minute action packed adventure ride that revs up right from the start and doesn’t stop until after the credits! We have so many monster movies, and while I loved movies like Cloverfield, I couldn’t help but be rather bored with Godzilla a couple years ago. In a sea of monster movies, I must say Kong is King.
One thing to point out is that I loved the 1970’s setting and feel. This was an action movie not bogged down by fancy gadgets or computerized weapons. The movie flowed well sticking to that time period. I’d have to say the movie isn’t anything new. A corporation discovers the mysterious Kong Island where numerous pilots have gone missing. A team is built to assess the situation, but as the audience, we know what’s in store (but we do get to play a little game of intentions roulette). The team decides to helicopter their way over to the Island only to be interrupted by the wrath of Kong.
Now, if you’ve ever followed Kong, you’ll know he’s really a gentle giant, and while this team lead by a sort-of badass, lone shark Tom Hiddleston, you might see be on the same page as him at first, the team is split up and everyone has to decide if Kong is friend or foe.
Let’s break this down into The Creatures, The Characters, and the Action.
First off the characters: I have to say I’m a huge fan of Thomas Mann. It was good to see that kid shine in a mammoth film like this. He’s the rookie of the team, but can handle his own. Samuel L. Jackson once again plays well Samuel L. Jackson, and he’s utilized so well. Jackson’s character teeters on good and bad, and it’s really funny to see. You just might get a nod or two to another creature feature he was in. Brie Larson is honestly a bit of a let down. She doesn’t have any good moments. She’s just a photographer. You can’t help but feel like she just stands around. John C. Reilly is one I just don’t want to spoil, but he adds great humor to the film and really kind-of steals the show. A lot of the other actors – even John Goodman – don’t really have a lot to do. The movie doesn’t even belong to the cast; it belongs to Kong.
The Creatures of the film are fantastic. I can’t remember if each thing had a name, but it doesn’t matter. There’s giant spiders, giant dinosaurs, a giant gorilla, and a bunch of other little things. Hiddleston really gets to shine in the action scenes and the effects on the creatures are mind blowing. This cast may hope on a broken boat for a bit, but that doesn’t stop the onslaught of creatures. The violence is also especially graphic for a PG-13, but man this one action scene with a giant spider made for a fun ride.
So finally, you got a pretty badass core of characters that work brilliantly in not agreeing on what they should do, but you can’t blame them, because so much action is thrown their way. You get to see Kong right from the get go. It’s his movie. He makes the dinosaurs, for lack of a better word, look like chumps. It is slam B, thanks to Kong. What little love interest or Kong’s leading lady we always seem to have is lacking to allow focus on the action. King Kong was 3 hours long and that’s too long (although I still think that movie is great). This is how I want my monster movies. This should’ve been what they did with Godzilla. This is the direction they need to go in.
I feel like it’s the right thing to say when I say if you loved or hated Godzilla, you should like this. This is Warner Brothers making up for the fact we didn’t see Godzilla until 2 hours into that film. The characters are all over the place, it can get repetitive, and it’s still 100% fun.
Review by Kory Davis