REVIEW | Kong: Skull Island

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Reviewed by Dustin Heller

Kong: Skull Island is the new monster movie featuring the legendary giant ape, King Kong.  The movie is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts whose last film, The Kings of Summer, was well-received by critics and a mild Indie success.  I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Kong: Skull Island is now the second movie in Legendary’s MonsterVerse following 2014’s Godzilla; two other movies, Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2020), have also been announced. The movie boasts an A-list ensemble cast including Brie Larson, Tom HiddlestonSamuel L. JacksonJohn Goodman and John C. ReillyKong: Skull Island is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language.

Just as the Vietnam War is coming to an end, a mysterious, uncharted island is found in the South Pacific.  An organization that searches for new origins of species requests access to explore this new island along with a military escort.  There is more to this mission than meets the eye as the head of this organization is looking for something very specific that he believes lives on the island.

The group approaches the island via helicopter and starts dropping bombs as if to smoke out the inhabitants.  The objective works, but everyone gets a lot more than they were hoping for in the form of a gigantic ape that begins attacking back.  Once the dust settles, it’s now a battle for survival as the remaining humans must travel by foot to the other side of the island in order to be rescued.  Problem is, there are other inhabitants of the island that perhaps pose an even bigger threat than Kong himself.

Kong: Skull Island is best big-budget blockbuster we’ve seen so far in 2017, not only because it is a lot of fun, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Granted, we’re talking about a giant ape, but there are enough laughs and awesome special effects that make this a worthwhile outing to the theater.  Speaking of the CGI, it is done exceptionally well and the features in Kong’s face and body are extremely detailed and lifelike.

The story starts off a bit slow and I was beginning to worry that we might have to wait awhile before even seeing Kong, but that definitely wasn’t the case.  Often times in these monster movies, the big revelation doesn’t come until later in the movie which can be very frustrating.  The last Godzilla movie was a huge offender in this regard.

Once the action starts, it really doesn’t let up.  Although this is just another King Kong movie, I was actually looking forward to it because of the amazing cast that was assembled.  From top to bottom, the casting was spot-on and the acting really elevated the quality of the film.  For those looking for a great time at the movies where you can just sit back and be entertained, Kong: Skull Island is just the movie for you.

Grade: B

Kong: Skull Island opens in theaters on Friday, March 10