The last time movie-goers saw King Kong on the big screen was in Peter Jackson’s 3-hour epic back in 2005. Twelve years later, he’s back and bigger than ever. Instead of being so big he can scale the Empire State building with ease, he’s now just as big as the Empire State Building. Let’s take a look.
Set during the last days of the Vietnam War, a team of scientists and soldiers venture to an uncharted island in the Pacific to map the island and discover any potential resources. But once they arrive, they’re confronted with a host of giant, deadly prehistoric creatures including the King of the island- Kong.
Once their choppers are brought down, Kong: Skull Island becomes your typical ‘Get From Point A To Point B By This Time To Be Rescued Type Of Movie.’ Of course it won’t be easy getting there as Skull Island is appropriately named and filled with giant spiders, a giant octopus, and did I mention a building-sized ape?
While the film is filled with talented and recognizable faces, almost none of the characters are given any depth or personality save for John C. Reily as a marooned soldier. But the filmmakers seemed to have decided that the only character the audience really cares about is Kong, and so the movie basically boils down to throwaway filler scenes in between massive monster mayhem showdowns.
That’s not to say that’s a bad thing though. The best part of Kong: Skull Island by far is what you’re paying a ticket for and that’s to see a giant ape fight some weird other enormous creatures. And whenever that’s on screen, it’s an enjoyable popcorn matinee.
While the effects don’t seem any better than 2005’s King Kong, the creature design is impressive and there’s something undeniably entertaining about watching this kind of destruction on such a massive scale. But ultimately the script is full of cliched characters and dialogue, and while it is admittedly fun at times, it’s almost instantly forgettable.
Kong: Skull Island is a big, loud, goofy ode to the monster movies of the 1940’s and 50’s that succeeds to some degree on that level. While not quite as good as other recent mega-sized creature features like Pacific Rim, it’s still fun enough to be diverting for two hours.
It’s basically the cinematic equivalent of eating fast food- it’s fun while it lasts, you’ll get your fill but once it’s over you’ll realize you could have chose better. I give Kong: Skull Island a C+.