Kong: Skull Island ★★★½

73% - Good -> Godzilla Universe Ranking (#12/40) &
2017 Ranking (#48/72)

This most recent revisiting of Kong definitely delivers as a creature feature, but it suffers from some weak writing choices. Kong is huge in this movie and while the 2005 look is still my favorite, this one gets a boost from the sheer amount of destruction it’s capable of. When the giant ape was on screen, the movie was at its best. His first appearance against the helicopters was awesome and his clashes with the various creatures on Skull Island were all done very well. The monsters themselves had inventive designs and I was a pretty big fan of the Skullcrawlers. The movie was also visually impressive with a few stunning shots and a pretty solid soundtrack.

Where the film really suffers is with its characters. Despite the stacked cast including some of our favorite Marvel actors in Hiddleston, Larson, and Sam Jackson, most of them were wasted and given little to work with. The dialogue was pretty bad overall and the attempts at humor fell flat, except for John C. Reilly’s character who seemed to be the only one who knew what kind of movie he was in. There’s a scene with him during the end credits that surprisingly almost made me tear up. Jackson’s character also has some decent moments but that’s about all the praise I can give these characters. In the end, Kong: Skull Island is not as revolutionary as the original or as epic as the 2005 version, but it offers enough B-movie monster thrills to make it a worthy comeback for King Kong.

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