“Kong: Skull Island” proves to be an eyeful extravaganza and a crowd-pleaser that actually pleases. While it doesn’t hold up as well as the 1933 classic or even Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake, this latest incarnation is entertaining in its own way.
It’s 1973 and a mass expedition has been set up to find the mythological Skull Island, which is inhabited by none other than King Kong himself. Tom Hiddleston stars as an expedition leader hired by a government official (John Goodman) to investigate the island. Hiddleston is initially reluctant, but soon has a change of heart when he wants Goodman’s crew to find out if they can survive the dangers that lie ahead.
Samuel L. Jackson costars as an Army lieutenant colonel, who leads his men onto the island to capture Kong. He soon has ulterior motives for being there, especially after Kong kills some of his men. Jackson delivers a terrific performance and he helps keep the movie on its toes.
Other costars are Brie Larson as a photojournalist and John C. Reilly as survivor of the island since World War II. Together the entire group is exposed to other island inhabitants, including dinosaur-like animals and gigantic insect-esque creatures that equal anything in “Jurassic World,” both in terms of size and ferocity.
“Kong: Skull Island” works well mostly because it’s a movie that knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more. It’s an expensive, B-movie that has B-movie charms to go along with its impressive, yet intense, action sequences. The movie does contain measured doses of blood and gore for a PG-13 rating.
The cast is uniformly good inducing moments of sly, effective humor in the midst of the action and it leaves you feeling this could set up its own cinematic universe.
“Kong: Skull Island” wasn’t as much fun as other blockbusters so far this year like “Logan” and “John Wick: Chapter 2,” but it is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.