AirSabe’s review published on Letterboxd:
I gotta say, these Monsterverse movies are better than I remembered since the first time I watched them. Kong: Skull Island is a monster movie that is just pure fun, entertainment and style. It feels like a throwback to those fun and cheesy monster B-movies but made with modern sensibilities. You have the classic scenario of a team of soldiers and scientist exploring a newly discovered island and having to survive, which just makes for a fun adventure. It's nice that there are actually some creative kills; it is not just people getting stomped on or crushed by rubble, there are limbs being torn apart and people getting impaled and eaten alive. Jordan Vogt-Roberts directs the film with energy, a certain playfulness at times (like the cut to the guy eating a sandwich) and a whole bunch of style (like multiple shots where the camera zooms into someone's eye). It's such a vibrant and colorful movie too (the 70's aesthetic with the music and colorful imagery only add to that). All the shots of Kong standing menacingly while being backlit by the sun or by fire are simply breathtaking. I also like how unique and fun all the monster designs are; it makes for some very exciting set pieces.
I didn't remember the characters being quite so entertaining either. It certainly helps that the cast is chock full of familiar faces (it's funny just how many of the actors are from the Marvel Universe too). I had remembered John C. Reilly as being a comedy relief character but while he does have some really amusing lines, he forms the heart of the story along with Kong and I found myself actually getting wrapped up in his simple yet effective journey. Samuel L Jackson also plays a great character where we can completely see his motivations and mindset (I find his stare downs with Kong to be so entertaining to watch). The two leads, Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson, are probably the weakest links but they give off leading man and lady vibes and are actors I like so it still worked for me. But of course, the best character is Kong himself who feels so emotive as you get a sense of his relationship to the island. Kong: Skull Island is a movie that knows how to have fun, delivers on plenty of awesome monster action, and tells its story with some genuine heart.