Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island ★★★½

Far superior to Peter Jackson's 2005 film and also to this film's predecessor Godzilla. Tonally it has more in common with the other Kong film than Godzilla as it's a shift away from the dark grittiness of that film and it's got a much brighter colour pallette.

The characters mostly work well, obviously the real star of the show is Kong but we need human characters to carry it along, so we get Samuel L. Jackson as a death seeking colonel, and John C. Reilly as a man who lives on the island, as well as a ragtag group of army privates - including the adorable Slivko and Mills, two young guys who just want to get back to the USA. John Goodman doesn't appear as much as you'd think but he's the catalyst for a really tense and effective sequence during the middle act of the film involving a flashbulb.

Tom Hiddleston is quite bland as the leading man though, saying that as a fan of his he comes across as far too effeminate to be a brawny type character, he's much better at playing the sneaky, devious Loki as he doesn't have to show too much in the way of machoness there. Here he seemed like a little boy trying to be a big man.

The writing for the Brie Larson character was pretty poor too, everything was basically about her being "I am a woman who can work as good as a man!!!11111", they tried to have her as an action girl doing better than the men, and the woman having a connection to Kong and it didn't work as it's as if they were trying to have a character on both sides of that spectrum.

Like Godzilla we get other monsters besides Kong, and the CGI is well done but at the same time I do miss animatronics! The cinematography here is great too, so many beautiful shots of the island, and it's such a pleasure to not have a film in total darkness too!