Warren Gilbert’s review published on Letterboxd:
After a 12 year break Kong returns in Kong: Skull Island and he's even bigger and stronger. This time it takes place in the 1970's and an expedition is sent to explore the uninhabited Skull Island and guess who's there to greet them upon their arrival??
If you're coming to see Kong in action (and who isn't??) then you are in for a treat as the action and combat scenes featuring him whether he is taking down helicopters or fighting large monsters look pretty amazing. They somehow manage to make them both intense and brutal yet basically bloodless. Although the monsters are CGI there is thankfully a lot of on location shooting so the fights take place in real locations.
On the downside is early in the film where they play a barrage of tunes from the 70's in a weak attempt to beat you over the head reminding you when it takes place. The plot and characters are also about as bland and generic as you can possibly get so the moments of intended emotional impact completely fall flat. The one exception is John C. Reilly who manages to successfully straddle the line between a slightly crazy comic relief as well as bring the only touching and emotional elements to the film. Samuel L. Jackson plays Samuel L. Jackson for better or worse and John Goodman isn't in the film enough.
Although it has the obvious advantage of the latest in special effects it doesn't quite match either the original film or the Peter Jackson film. Despite its (mostly expected) flaws Kong: Skull Island is definitely worth checking out with exciting, creative, and great looking battle scenes that monster movie fans should all enjoy. Recommended.