Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Toby Kebbell
Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Written by: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr.
To be honest, there isn’t much I can say about Kong: Skull Island. It’s a big dumb monster movie, and that’s all it ever wanted to be. The human characters are given just enough development to make sure their motivations on the island are justified, and that’s it. Well, that, and to illustrate scale. What better way to impress an audience than to have Kong bat helicopters out of the sky like paper planes, or have him framed in the same shot as an ant sized Brie Larson.
This is classic Kong meets classic Jurassic park, only it doesn’t make any attempt to be anything other than popcorn munching brainless entertainment. It’s completely self-aware of that fact too. The big ape shows up early, and often, as do an assortment of nicely rendered creatures. The human element is simply there to point at monsters, scream at monsters, and then run away from monsters. Period.
That’s not to say this isn’t slickly produced entertainment. It is. The film looks and sounds great, and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts clearly has an eye for clever visual details. The film also cracks on at a great pace, regardless of continuity. It’s nighttime in one shot, and daytime in the next, it’s—oh who cares? Look at the monsters, watch them fight! Cool!
If you’re expecting more depth from your monster movie, then you best leave this film alone. Go see Kong if you’re in the mood for silly escapist entertainment.
The big monster battle finale is a lot of fun, as is John C. Reilly as a quirky World War 2 pilot stranded on Skull Island for 28 years.