“Kong: Skull Island” delivers with giant monster brawling action

“Kong: Skull Island” delivers on the monster movie genre fantasy of a giant gorilla fighting other huge creatures.


The film, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is the second film within Legendary Entertainment’s “MonsterVerse,” right after the 2014 “Godzilla” reboot and serves as an introduction to the colossal primate King Kong.


Like the previous monster movie, “Kong” is not simply a movie focused around the titular gorilla; he merely serves as a force of nature within the film.


The setting of the film is during 1973 in the middle of the Cold War. Government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) has discovered the existence of Skull Island, a place where he believes new forms of life can be found. After striking a deal with other government officials, he is given permission to fly there and investigate it before the Russians can.


Randa enlists the aid of former British Special Air Services Captain James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), along with a small retinue of soldiers who are just about to leave the Vietnam battlefield. Accompanying them is photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), who wants to discover more about the operation. Once they arrive on the island and discover the existence of Kong, the group finds Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), a World War II aviator who had crashed on the island 29 years prior.


Where the 2014 “Godzilla” film fell short with some viewers was the fact that it only really showed the giant reptile almost at the end of the film. The studio executives seem to have taken that criticism to heart, and King Kong is shown for a good duration of the movie to make it feel worth the money.


Even when King Kong isn’t on camera, the human characters still have the wildlife of Skull Island to fight off, like carnivorous bird-like creatures, giant spiders and the reptilian “skull-crawlers,” so there is still plenty of action to keep the film exciting.


The visual effects within the film, especially the ones pertaining to the monsters, are outstanding and are able to give each creature a sense of realism to them which can sometimes be scary. The primal savagery that you can see from Kong’s actions really make up the film and showcase why he’s called king of the jungle.


The human characters within the film, however, lack enough depth to them to make them memorable.


They all just play into classic tropes that lend themselves unto the film, like the scientist, the expert military leader, the traumatized veteran, the pacifist photojournalist woman role, the nearly insane castaway and the band of brothers straight out of war.


Their only purpose within the film is to give it a loose sense of plot and allow the film to include some comedic moments to lighten the mood.


“Kong: Skull Island” definitely takes a lot of inspiration from giant monster movies before it and delivers quite well. If you’re looking for a film where you can just sit back and enjoy the carnage, it is definitely a movie for you.