Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island ★★★½

I was surprised by how many big names I saw come up during the acting credits in the beginning. Unfortunately neither the script or direction lead these names to provide much of a meaningful performance. Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman were pretty disappointing as I know what they are capable of with better direction and writing. The best character is John C. Reilly as the comedic relief. He is actually useful and not just a bumbling idiot and also ties into the whole story quite seamlessly. The story itself seemed to stay true to past Kong films, but branched out just enough to keep it unique. It wears its Vietnam War movie influences on its sleeve and uses just about every classic rock song that has ever been used in this genre of war movie. It's essentially a Vietnam War movie except the enemy is Kong and Co., and that's...fine.

The thing I was not expecting was the level of violence and meaningless deaths that we actually see on screen. The way they leaned into how powerless the soldiers were against Kong and the other creatures was ruthlessly unexpected. Some of these deaths come out of nowhere and without spoiling anything in particular, there is one death where your expectations are completely subverted that left me with my mouth agape. This movie undoubtedly has style, even if it is a bit too much at times (soo many lens flares). I've mentioned this before in some Marvel reviews, but action movies must have a certain level of style for me. Showing action and combat from new angles and points of view is something I absolutely enjoy, and this film does a pretty good job of delivering that.

It has its fair share of faults and most of the characters don't have much depth to them, but I was surprised by how engrossed I became in this and how quickly it flew by.

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