Movie Review: ‘Kong: Skull Island’March 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Movies, Reviews | Leave a comment
Kong: Skull Island is a fun movie. Not a great movie, but a fun one. It takes two fun elements and throws in some extras to make this a unique King Kong movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and sets out for pure entertainment. I mean come on, you’ve got Samuel L. Jackson declaring war on Kong and John C. Reilly providing some hilarity. Action and humor combine together in this one to make it worth a watch.
The whole premise is kind of neat. It’s set right at the end of Vietnam with all the American forces being pulled out. John Goodman and Corey Hawkins play a pair of conspiracy theorists who are putting together an expedition to an unexplored island where they think there could be monsters. They recruit a military escort lead by Samuel L. Jackson who commands a company of helicopters. They also recruit an SAS operative played by Tom Hiddleston to serve as the tracker for their voyage. Along the way, they pick up a journalist played by Brie Larson and there’s some scientists filling out the cast.
Once they arrive on the island, it doesn’t take long for the action to start. They wage a short war with Kong, and then it’s survival of the fittest as they struggle through the savage occupants of the island. Aside from Kong, there’s some nasty, giant sized bugs and these weird two legged dinosaur things. There’s a couple other creatures that show up, and not all of them are hostile. However, Kong is definitely the most memorable of the monsters and the star of the show. Like the last Godzilla film, Kong isn’t a bad guy, which adds a nice twist for the movie and helps the story a lot.
While there is lots of action with Kong swatting helicopters out of the sky and fighting other giant monsters, its the character work that makes this movie fun. On one hand, you have Samuel L. Jackson playing a military commander whose war has ended and he’s looking for a new mission. When Kong wipes out his men, Jackson gains a new purpose in life: to kill Kong. He sets about waging a war with the giant gorilla that’s pretty epic, and the movie does a good job of focusing on that conflict and emotional hatred of Jackson toward Kong. Countering that element of drama is John C. Reilly, a World War II pilot who has been living on the island since the 1940’s. He knows the island, which is useful for the rest of the cast, but he’s also a little crazy which makes him very entertaining for the viewers. Reilly adds a bit of levity to the movie making it a lot of fun. Between him, Samuel L. Jackson and King Kong, they make the movie worth watching.
Everyone else does a good job with their roles, but their parts just don’t have the entertainment value of Jackson and Reilly. That said, it’s worth mentioning how much of a role King Kong has. He’s a fully developed character in his own right. The movie takes steps to give him a little bit of a history, some sympathy, and some motivation. He’s much more than a giant monster. He’s a very intelligent creature and a protector. It’s a nice angle to go with for Kong.
While you could wait to see this on your TV at home, you’d miss out on seeing Kong on a big screen the way he’s intended to be seen. This is a movie about giant monsters after all. They should be big. If you’re looking for some fun entertainment, I recommend checking this one out. I give a four out of five metal bikinis.