Kong: Skull Island seems like it is one of many too-soon reboots. Peter Jackson’s root came out in 2005 and was a little too faithful on it’s adaptation. Too much of it feels the same and ultimately it doesn't offer anything new or relevant. Fortunately, Kong does more than enough to differentiate itself from Kongs of the past.
For the most part, the CGI in this movie is top- notch. While there are some weird spots here and there, it does an amazing job of using the animation to help itself move along instead of distract. For example, a good chunk of this movie has scenes that involve water- and they always look good. No moments stand out that show the CGI distracting to the point of taking you out of the movie. Along with Kong, you do get to see a few other creatures on Skull Island. Some are standard fare (like the gigantic octopus), but some are really fun. The humungous tree spider was very original and was a cool departure from a regular huge CGI spider.
The action scenes also flow very well. Since most of the action scenes also involve CGI, it is nice to see everything blend well. A lot of CGI fight scenes tend to feel very forced, and when mixed with live action, it seems incredibly obvious that they don’t “exist” on the same plane. While obviously not real, the actors and the animated creatures tend to look like the are in the same existence. The ending sequence (SPOILER ALERT) with a spectacular flaming Kong is one of the best CGI segments to date. It’s awe-inspiring, and is an image that has the potential to become iconic.
Some of the cooler moments in the movie are how they remind you of the Vietnam War movies of the past. Since the movie is based in a 70s timeline, it is nice to see some of those fallbacks to that era of filming. The film's soundtrack also helps seal the deal with that. It's very reminiscent of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.
Sadly the characters are the worst thing about this movie. The acting for the most part is very solid, but the characters themselves are lacking. This movie has some serious acting fire power with Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman, and John C Reilly, but unfortunately most of the actors are underutilized for their characters. Reilly is the only actor who seems like he is able to actually do something with his part. Nobody else feels like they are needed as their character. Luckily, the film is more about the CGI ape than the people.
Ultimately, Kong: Skull Island, is a solid film that is very entertaining. It’s a fun romp that is a nice warmup for the summer blockbusters that are coming our way.
11 John C Reilly’s talking about hot dogs and beer at Wrigley Field out of 15. (73%)