Yesterday my family and I went to see the new Kong Skull Island film. I'm an old die hard Kong, and Godzilla fan from back in the day, and even though I did not care for the 2014 Godzilla snooze fest I had high hopes for Kong. My son, who is way more partial to Godzilla, and in fact still insists the Godzilla cheated to beat Kong when they first clash back in 1963 was excited to see the film, but worried it would be dull. My wife cared less.
Ok first things first, you see Kong about 3min into the film. It starts where and American, and Japanese piolet respectfully crash there plans on an island and begin to fight. We hear a noise and low and behold its Kong, Flash forward to the end of the Vietnam War and John Goodman, and Corey Hawkins who work for the Monarch company (Yes, spoiler, the same Monarch from Godzilla) are getting permission from a local senator to go on an expedition to "Skull Island" an uncharted island in the south pacific that is surrounded by it own weather system. They ask for a tracker/guide, which they get in the form of Tom Hiddleston, a former British Special Service Captain. Hey are also given a military escort led by Samuel Jackson. And as every team needs a gorgeous photojournalist played by Brie Larson who suspects there is more going on here then people are letting on.
When they arrive the begin dropping explosives to determine if the ground is hollow. That doesn't sit well with a certain 100 foot tall gorilla who crashes there party and destroys the helicopters in truly epic fashion. By doing this he basically splits the team in half. Samuel Jacksons half is bound and determined to find the rest of the survivors and kill Kong for attacking them. The other half, lead by Hiddleston soon wander into a temple protected by the local natives. Its there the meet John C Reilly who was the piolet that crashed in the beginning. He has been on the island now for 28 years and lives with the natives. And yes, he steals every scene he is in from here on out, offering comedy relief in a not to goofy way.
He explains that Kong is the king of the island and worshipped like a God. He protects the people from the Skullcrawlers, giant lizard like monsters who live under the ground. Turns out the explosions the solders were setting off was waking them up hence why Kong jumped into stop them. See Kong can easily kill a Skullcrawler when its small, its the "Big One" that killed his family that he doesn't want to wake up.
Of course we then have the group trying to make it to the rendezvous point while escaping all the other monsters of the island, and yes of course, Kong who it turns out is still a young gorilla, maybe hinting the fact he will be bigger in future outings, does indeed battle the Giant Skullcrawler in a very bloody yet epic battle at the end.
Bottom line, this is a must see big screen blockbuster. Unlike other giant monster films this moves at a frantic pace with monsters throughout the film. In fact watching the humans get there stuff together, and making it to the island is barely 25min. From there its Kong all the way. The film clocks in around the 2 hour mark and yes, there is an after the credits seen to set up the eventual meeting between Kong and Godzilla in 2020.
So back to the beginning. I loved it, and watching Kong fight an octopus brought back a few great childhood memories. I thought it was the best version of Kong to date, and that's no disrespect to the epic Peter Jackson film, this is just a much more action packed origin story. My son loved it. He enjoyed how Kong pulls off those great pro wrestling moves like the spear, ax-handle, and superman punch with ease. And yes my wife ended p enjoying it as well, even jumping several times through the film.
Bottom line, first big popcorn movie of the summer is here and its a must see.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!