Kong: Skull Island is an entertaining visual feast of an adventure film that's also helped by strong performances from Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and Tom Hiddleton. These three bring their A game to the film and clearly understand the type of film their involved with and appear to be having fun with it. The film is full of exhilirating eye candy while having a fast-paced story that moves at a brisk pace, bringing the audience into this world for two hours, while ultimately delivering them great popcorn entertainment. The storyline for Kong: Skull Island drifts from the traditional King Kong story, setting the timeline in the 1970s with a team of scientists exploring an uncharted Island off the Pacific coast with them stumbling across the mighty Kong along with other mysterious monsters on Skull Island while trying to escape the primal Eden. Skull Island works best as a B- action movie largely due to the sheer size of its monsters that dominate the film and become the ultimate stars of the flick besides it's appealing cast. Kong is the type of film where the special effects and technology are the true stars of the movie along with the stunning cinematography coming with it. Anything outside of those two things is a surprise plus such as the addition of Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman in strong supporting roles, both being effective and a great deal of fun to watch. With a movie like Kong, audiences don't and shouldn't go into the movie expecting logic to run the story as monster movies aren't designed to be full proof with logic dominating the scenarios that occur throughout the films story. If one goes into Kong expecting a great deal of story depth and intelligence, then they should reevaluate their expectations for the film and check logic at the door. Skull Island is made with the simple purpose of entertaining it's audience and that it does pretty successfully with few major missteps. The movie movies fast and doesn't leave the audience with much time to take breaks in between the thrills but rather keeps them engaged in the action that's non-stop and brilliant to watch. Skull Island also manages to pay direct homage to the 1933 original classic Kong film by modeling it's climactic fight scene between Kong and another monster in a direct parallel to Kong battling the T-Rex's in the original and ultimately winning the fight. What greatly helps this story, is that it's not a direct retelling of the classic Kong origins but rather an effort to reacquaint him with audiences in preparing him for future endeavors and battles. If Skull Island is the starting point for Kong build up to bigger and better things rather than having him killed off like in the previous retelling then Skull Island is off to a strong start despite a rather basic plot.
As a mindless popcorn monster flick that's fast, funny, explosive, thrilling, and carries with it large yet appealing Beasts than Kong: Skull Island works. The film never tries to be anything more than a kickass monster movie and primarily serves as a relaunching of the famous monster, who will unquestionably appear in future installments. The King Kong in this film maintains his menacing and intimidating personality and presence despite the scope of the story feeling smaller than previous Kong adaptations. Unlike the three previously major Hollywood interpretations of the story, Kong doesn't stand on top of the Empire State Building nor the World Trade Center with a blonde female to claim as his own personal prize. This time the action remains on Skull Island with the characters entering this lost world and discovering creatures, that they never knew existed before while trying to find the prize. Kong's greatest strength as a film lies within the fact that it's filmmakers know what the audience wants and delivers it to them while cutting out the excessive running time of Peter Jackson's movie as well as the romance between an ape and a young girl from New York. Skull Island is a simple monster movie made in the tradition of older monster movies with no other purpose than to entertain it's audience and put Kong back on the big screen, which is where he's always belonged and will continue to appear in future monster flicks and pair ups. Skull Island is the ideal popcorn action flick that audiences should see if they want to see mindless action that doesn't require them to think much and makes them shit their brain off completely. If one sets their expectations to those kinds of standards then Skull Island will work it's magic in regards to entertainment. However if one is expecting emotion and depth then they should revert back to Peter Jackson's version for a more epic version of the story as Skull Island gets right to the point in regards to action. Kong is back and is here to stay while never losing the menacing nature that makes him such a compelling and iconic monster.
7.5 out of 10