Review - Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island (2017), PG-13, 120 minutes - I actually saw this film a few weeks ago when it was first released, but due to a number of life situations, haven't had the chance to get my review together.

Admittedly, I had been a little leery when Kong: Skull Island was first announced.  I knew that it was completely independent of the last big screen outing for everyone's favorite giant ape (2005's King Kong), but I was very underwhelmed by that film so I suppose my thoughts on a franchise reboot of sorts were negatively skewed.  I came around a bit after learning who was involved in the project: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly.  All of whose work I generally tend to enjoy.  Trailers and images began to be released and it became more and more obvious that this wasn't going to be a rehash of the King Kong films of yesteryear.

Kong: Skull Island is an origin story of sorts for the giant ape.  In the wake of the Vietnam War, a group of scientists convince the government to approve a research expedition to a remote, uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean.  Accompanied by an expert tracker, a professional photographer, and a platoon of military support, the group literally flies through the heart of a storm in order to arrive at the island. They are almost immediately welcomed by an enormous ape, who they later learn is called Kong.  Reacting to something different and scary the way humans tend to do, they shoot first and ask questions later, causing Kong to retaliate in defense of himself and of the island. Not surprisingly, Kong lays waste to a good portion of the expedition party.  Those who survive find themselves strewn across the island, left to fend for themselves as they attempt to rendezvous at the planned extraction point.  As they do so, they encounter other giant and mysterious creatures that also inhabit the island.  One group even discovers a native colony of humans, from whom they learn that Kong may not be quite the monstrous menace they originally thought him to be.

There are a couple plot holes, but all in all Kong: Skull Island is a pretty darn good popcorn-action flick.  The cast is wonderful, with John C. Reilly stealing the show as stranded World War II pilot Hank Marlow.  If you enjoy giant monster movies in the vein of King Kong or Godzilla, you should find this entry to the Kong franchise quite entertaining.


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