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Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island (2017) starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Brie Larson

Synopsis of Kong: Skull Island

In Kong: Skull Island, a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature. A mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between man and monster. Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly star in a new adventure that reveals the untold story of how Kong became King.

Review of Kong: Skull Island

In short, Kong: Skull Island is disappointing. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not a good one either. It’s critical flaw: the audience doesn’t care about the human characters. They’re two-dimensional and bland. The various things that the filmmakers do to try to have us care about them is formulaic and cliched.

Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, soldier in over their heads in Kong: Skull Island

The acting (with two exceptions) is mediocre. I frankly expected better from Samuel L. Jackson. Brie Larson came across as wooden. The only noticeable thing about John Goodman was … he lost weight. He’s looking good. Glad he’s working. But we don’t really care about his character.

The only two characters that the audience cares about are the world-weary ex-soldier (Tom Hiddleston) and the World War II soldier (John C. Riley) who’s been stranded on Skull Island for decades. In addition to good acting, the characters themselves are slightly more detailed, rounded out, and worth caring about.

King Kong attacking one of the skull monsters - Kong: Skull Island

And finally, Kong himself. He’s the last of his family, and the defender of the people on the island against the “bad” monsters. Which, frankly, reminded me of a monster from the Diablo III video game.

Comedy in Kong: Skull Island

There is some comedy in the movie, but I frankly doubt that it’s what the filmmakers planned. There’s a scene at the end, where one soldier, loaded with explosives, is attempting a heroic sacrifice. He’s waiting for the big monster to swallow him … And the plan is that, with a live grenade in each hand, he’ll blow it up from the inside. Instead, it swats him into a cliff wall, where he explodes and dies. My daughter laughed hysterically.

Likewise, earlier in the movie, when John C. Riley’s character is talking about the monsters, he goes off on a tangent about how silly his name for them sounds. But it interrupts the flow of the movie, and takes the audience out of the movie. It’s funny – but a distraction.

Editorial review of Kong: Skull Island courtesy of Amazon.com

The producers of Godzilla reimagine the origins of one the most powerful monster myths of all in Kong: Skull Island, from Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures and Tencent Pictures. A compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer), the film tells the story of a diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers uniting to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong.