It’s the final days of the Vietnam War and a group of scientists and soldiers lead an expedition to a newly discovered island in the Indian Ocean. The group is in search of a new species, and what an entrance do they make. This is the most recent version of the giant ape Kong, and he is ready to do battle.
Kong: Skull Island is the second film from Legendary’s MonsterVerse, following Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, and the plan is to eventually have the two creatures fight. This is also the largest we have seen Kong, but will have to grow a little bigger to match up against the kaiju. And in Skull Island, he is probably the best thing, with a more interesting personality and depth to his character.
Kong is not the only monsters we in the film. There are a number of giant animals we see, from a squid, buffalo, stick insects, spiders and then the really scary stuff, the Skullcrawlers. These giant, lizard like monsters killed Kong’s family and are going to tear up the rest of the island.
Then there are the human characters. Several head out to Skull Island, many minor ones getting killed along the way, as Kong is not happy with their arrival. Sadly there seems to be too many leads and not many which are memorable. The highlights are Samuel L. Jackson as the vengeful Lieutenant Colonel Packard who constantly keeps the energy high, as he is not ready to leave the war behind him. He shows the worst side of humans on the island, and his counterpart is John C. Reilly. A World War II soldier who has been marooned on the island since the 1940s, he is both hilarious and the voice of reason when it comes to Kong.
The cinematography is another stand out, but maybe the films gives more to the gorgeous lighting and visual effects than to the cast. So far in the MonsterVerse, they have nailed the monsters, but the human characters are not fully realised. Nevertheless, it is meant to be an entertaining, fun monster film, and it is just that.