Kong: Skull Island is director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ stunning, fun and mindless take on the King, Kong. Kong is reintroduced with a new story as the second addition to the MonsterVerse, following Godzilla.
The bulk of the film takes place in 1973, after the U.S. signed to end direct military involvement in Vietnam. Bill Randa (played by John Goodman) is an explorer who wants to go to the long-lost Skull Island, where he believes strange things exist, never before seen by humanity. Taking advantage of the circumstances of war, Randa gets government and military aid to find and explore the island.
Along with John Goodman are many top notch actors: Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, John C. Reilly and Samuel L. Jackson. The combination of these big names look really good on paper, but disappoints when their performances do not live up to expectations. Most of the acting felt unnatural and did not go with the overall flow of the film. The dialogue left much to be desired, and over the course of the film, the plot becomes less serious. The only stand-out performance was John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow. Hank Marlow is a U.S. pilot who crash lands on Skull Island 30 years prior to the events of the film. With very natural, witty acting and memorable humor, Reilly plays the perfect crazy guy.
Kong: Skull Island is visually spectacular. The special effects are marvelous and intriguing. The scenery is gorgeous, and whenever Kong is on screen, it is impossible to look away from him. Seeing the big ape in action, whether he is involved in a brutal fight or simply roaming his territory, is stunning.
As flawed as this King Kong adaptation is, it still is a relative success. It offers an entertaining, new story to an 80-year-old legend. It’s a fun movie, but nothing to go bananas about.