Kong: Skull Island

By Jackie Raphael

3.5 stars

A new take on an old tale, Kong: Skull Island is a fun action film with some surprisingly poignant messages about humanity. The unique aspect of this version is the other large and strange creatures on the island. All of the animals, but especially Kong, were beautifully crafted using CGI. The sets were also well done with some scenes shot in Australia, Vietnam and Hawaii, showing the gorgeous landscapes. The film tells the story of a group of scientists led by Bill Randa (John Goodman), a team of soldiers under the charge of Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson in a borderline villainous role), an "anti-war" photographer Mason Weaver (the lovely Brie Larson) and British tracker James Conrad (the charming Tom Hiddleston), who go on a mission to explore an uncharted island where they meet Kong, as well as other unexpected life forms. The standout performance was the hilarious John C. Reilly, who plays a man stranded on the island for decades. While this film had many positives, it was let down by far too many lame moments throughout. In particular, a ridiculous scene towards the end.