There’s nothing I can say that will compel you to see this movie more than the trailer does. And why wouldn’t you watch something with a cast as strong as John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and John C. Reilly? I’ll tell you this much: the movie delivers on all the promises the trailer makes.
Kong: Skull Island is the perfect example of honest cinema advertising. What you see is exactly what you get: an action-packed monster movie filled with epic clashes between Kong and a number of other terrifying beasts. There’s no unnecessary characterisation (this is a movie about The King first and foremost), no side-plots bogging the movie down, and a number of times the movie is even self-aware enough to call out the bullshit cliches you’ll be anticipating well ahead of time.
The movie also promises to be funny, and for the most part it delivers. John Goodman is under-utilised, Samuel L. Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson, and until the introduction of John C. Reilly, a lot of the jokes fall flat. Aside from Kong, Reilly is absolutely the standout in this movie. His character is genuine, likeable, and hilarious from the moment he appears on screen. Tom Hiddleston is equally impressive in a comparatively more serious role, which was necessary to keep the film grounded, and allow the plight of the stranded soldiers accompanying him and the constant battling of gargantuan monsters to seem totally plausible.
While there was a flicker of a love interest, it was thankfully not explored any further than a few lingering touches. The last thing this movie needed was unnecessary romance slowing things down. That said, Brie Larson’s character seemed to be little more than Tom Hiddleston’s extra motivation at times, suggesting that perhaps there was an intention to explore that angle at some point in production. However, in a movie filled with heroics (even if they didn’t always lead to the desired outcome), she was given her own moments to shine as well.
If you go into this expecting a typical monster movie with violent battles between fantastical creatures and humans doing their best to get involved as well by blowing things up, you’ll be more than satisfied. Kong: Skull Island was exciting, funny, and didn’t try to be anything more than it is: a fun film building upon an existing legend and setting up the battle we all really, really want to see in the future.
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