Todd Gaines’s review published on Letterboxd:
Kong: Skull Island is a Men on a Mission movie disguised as a creature feature monster flick. It's Heart of Darkness meets Moby Dick meets Predators (2010) meets the late '80s tv series, Tour of Duty meets Tropic Thunder meets the big fat gorilla, Fatz Geronimo who played the electric keyboard at Showbiz Pizza.
What a hot mess. The leads, Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson are severely miscast. Loki reminds me of Adrien Brody from Predators. He's serviceable, but forgettable, and you wonder why he's in this. Ms Larson is a fish outta water. She's there to take pictures. Her character has zero depth. Through the first few scenes, I honestly forgot they were in the picture.
The secondary team is led by John C Reilly. Without John, this is a less than 2 star movie. He's the glue, and thankfully, it's kinda sticky. Also, Sam Jackson once again plays himself, and John Goodman looks bored to tears.
The thirdary™ team is a mixed bag as well. I prefer Eazy-E to Dr Dre. Jason Mitchell has talent, and you kinda care about his character. While Corey Hawkins stumbles in his scientist person role. Shea Whigham (who?) gets to have a Billy Sole / Hanzo moment. Shea and Jason have good chemistry. Hell, they have better chemistry than Tom and Brie. Also, there's a fella, Jack Chapman. (That's the name of the character) When the credits rolled, he's the only name besides Kong, that I remembered. Kinda ironic, since the actor who plays Chapman, Toby Kebbell did some motion capture work as Kong.
Oh yeah, about Kong. For the most part, the CG on Kong himself looks good. Kong is at his best when he's fighting baddies and when he's looking at you with his puppy dog eyes. I ain't gonna lie; he's a badass motherfucker. As for the other CG? Some scenery looked so cheap it almost made me turn green screen green, while other CG (monsters on the island) looked pretty monster like. It's a mixed bag of CG, y'all.
The awesomeness of John C Reilly, the Richard Nixon bobblehead and the epic Kong vs Bad Monster final boss battle are the highlights. Don't get me wrong. I did have a popcorn munchin' fun time. Lots of bullets fly. Lots of people die. Lots of things go kaboom. Lots and lots and lots of action. However, I recognize when a movie could be a lot better with some script improvements. I wish we had more of the Skull Island people and there's no sense of relief as the survivor or survivors or hell, no survivors, make it out. You ain't too invested with them, and you kinda wish Kong ate them all for a midnight snack.