Stephen Robert Smith’s review published on Letterboxd:
'Skull Island' sees the big screen return of the legendary King Kong in this 70's set action adventure that doesn't hold back when it comes to giant monster fights, that's when its isn't getting bogged down using its themes as an extended metaphor for The Vietnam War.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts is the latest indie director that's been trusted with a major Hollywood blockbuster franchise, it seems like a strange trend. I don't know if producers are using these directors because they tend to focus on more character, but that certainly isn't the case here. 'Kong: Skull Island' has some of the most underdeveloped boring characters seen in a long time. There mostly there to fill screen time and to be used as cannon fodder for ether Kong or another monster that inhabits the island. It's very hard to become attached to anyone as nobody has everything to give, you have the bad ass, the photographer, the leader, the one that writes to his kid, the tech guy, the other guy and the last guy. Those descriptions are more in-depth that anything seen in the actual movie. It's even more frustrating when you consider the amount of talent that's involved in the project, this is one hell of a cast and they are all wasted on paper thin backstories and nothing duologue.
Luckily 'Skull Island' is able to fall back on its action. Every time Kong is on screen is brilliant, showing him in full frame glory that shows that an ape beating on another monster can be very beautiful. The money has been very well spent creating the title character (this is in stark contrast to the terrible green screen on show), his movements and choreography is great and is a highlight in a pretty forgettable film. These scenes are where Vogt-Roberts really shines, and this is where I thought he would struggle. This is a massive contrast when filming with real people though as this is done so choppy and harshly that is really difficult to see whats happening at times, its even hard to keep track of who dies and have to wait till the next scene to could who's left.
As an over-the-top creature feature 'Kong' works really well and is a highly entertaining and enjoyable summer blockbuster. Its just a shame that is fails when it comes to everything else, if as much time had been put into the human aspects of the story as the monster part, it could've been pretty amazing. A little disappointed if I'm being honest.