Kong: Skull Island Review
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It’s been 84 years since the enormous gorilla known as King Kong first stormed his way into theaters. Now, thanks to the larger-than-life reboot, Kong: Skull Island, monster movie fans get to meet the legendary monster all over again—and, this time, in striking detail.

Kong: Skull Island travels to a mysterious uncharted island in the Pacific, where a team of scientists, explorers, and soldiers is tasked with mapping and surveying the area. But one part of the team, led by researcher Bill Randa (John Goodman), is there for a different reason: to search for the prehistoric creatures that are rumored to exist there. And when the team arrives on the island and encounters a gigantic beast, they find themselves fighting for survival in a strange land that’s inhabited by all kinds of enormous monsters.

Summer blockbuster season is still a couple of months away, but Kong: Skull Island may cause viewers to put on their shorts and reach for the sunscreen—because it’s pure over-the-top summer movie fun.

The action here is big and bold and sometimes shocking, as the (mostly) unsuspecting visitors come face-to-face with massive beasts around every turn. This mysterious island is a dangerous place for both man and beast—and the battles that take place are sometimes surprisingly horrifying. It all plays out in spectacular detail, too, thanks to some remarkable CGI. This may be a monster movie, but it’s one beautiful monster movie—one with some obvious connections to some beloved classics.

But there’s more to this film than its cool graphics. It also has an often campy monster movie feel, with a wacky sense of humor that might often catch you off-guard. As big and as striking and realistic as it is, it never really takes itself too seriously; it never forgets to have fun. It has comical moments and silly characters—especially John C. Reilly’s Hank Marlow.

Granted, not all of the characters work perfectly—and not all of the humor hits its mark. Reilly’s Marlow and Samuel L. Jackson’s Colonel Packard can both be entertaining in their own distinct ways, but they sometimes go a little overboard, too. Still, those overdone moments help to keep the film in check—to keep it from getting too caught up in the horrors of it all.

It may sometimes be sillier than expected, but that’s just a part of what makes Kong: Skull Island an entertaining adventure. It’s a fun build-up to the thrills of summer—and to more monstrous thrillers to come.

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