Review in Brief: Kong: Skull Island (2017)

KONG: SKULL ISLAND is what it is, and what it is is a big, dumb monster brawl. The just-post-Vietnam War setting is just window dressing to the standard, laboured story setup. While the creatures are impressively realised, clearly nobody has given this ecosystem beyond cursory thought: some beasties are big, others aren’t, trees and mountains don’t seem any more verdant or towering to support the ecosystem. But switch your brain to low power mode and when things get going it’s a lot more fun, with gruesome demises of flunkies (plenty available as the helicopters they arrive on seem to breed between scenes) and brutal ape-on-lizard-thing combat. You’d be fully justified to ask for characters with more than one defining trait apiece and a more memorable script, the best line being from a soldier worrying about riding in a makeshift boat: “This thing looks like it’s made out of pure tetanus”. At least this occasionally cracks a smile, unlike GODZILLA. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

I'm not paid to write about film - I do it because I love it. Favourite filmmakers include Bong Joon-ho, Danny Boyle, the Coen Brothers, Nicolas Winding Refn, Clio Barnard, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Verhoeven, Taika Waititi and Edgar Wright. All reviews and articles are original works written and owned by me. They represent one man's opinion, and I'm more than happy to engage in civilised debate if you disagree.
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