This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Grey the Dot’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Kong: Skull Island is the most fun a King Kong movie has ever been.
King Kong has always treated itself as a great spectacle. The 1933 original treats itself as an era-appropriate 30s spectacle, the 1976 version was the first attempted remake so it tried to be spectacularly updated (it failed), the 2005 remake tried to hard to be everything the first one was and more and it became 3 hours long. Kong: Skull Island says fuck that and makes a Vietnam movie about a giant ape fighting skeleton lizards. Perhaps the name change was a deliberate attempt to differentiate itself from the other Kong movies.
This is director Jordan Vogt-Roberts's first big blockbuster and it shows in places. He makes the movie look amazing but some of the shots and some of the editing is wonky in places.
The movie has three (maybe four) good characters out of about 50 disposable soldier guys that exist to be slaughtered by the monsters on the island. that might not sound like much and it isn't but it's something. John C. Reilly is the star here even if he isn't the main character which he should be. The movie even starts with Reilly getting stranded on the island where he supposedly has 20+ years of adventures with his fellow crashed Japanese pilot another potentially interesting character that gets sidelined and killed off screen in a very confusing way because the first time I remember hearing he was dead it had apparently already been established and everybody knew? So that's another Japanese character in a recent American monster movie that gets sidelines so the movie can focus on the American military (the other being doctor Serizawa in 2014 Godzilla). Anyway, as I said the good characters are John C. Reilly that wants to get off the island so he can meet the son he never met, Samuel L. Jackson that wants to kill Kong because he is salty about not winning in Vietnam, and Kong himself. This movie is really good at showing how Skull Island is kong's home and how he just lives there normally from day to day. The arguably last good character is John Goodman who wants to prove that monsters exist but that's about it. But for some reason, the movie instead wants to focus on Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson as the generic/boring/reasonable/uninteresting audiance point of view characters with no other motivation than escape island because they don't want to die. This is why John C. Reilly's character is so much better and should have been more of the focus. He isn't just motivated by survival but he also want's to see his wife he hasn't seen for 20 years and meet the son that wasn't even born when he left. Him returning home is actually the final moments of the film. Why isn't he the main human character?
The amount of times giant monsters sneak up on people is ridiculous.
Any movie that basically ends with a slideshow of posters for Godzilla 2 before his deafening roar fills the screen is ok in my book.
Enjoyment Extracted: 8/10
Technical Execution: 6-8/10
Giant monster shenanigans: 8/10