Kong: Skull Island – 4 stars
The first 20 minutes of this movie serve as a primer as to how to get a comic book flick started. Simple, short scenes introduce our characters, several pop hits set the mood for the time (late Vietnam era), and away we go to confront King Kong. When a Vietnam helicopter pilot sees Kong, he laconically remarks, “is that . . . a monkey? “. Indeed, it is, and he is big and he is angry.
Death and destruction follow, our fearless survivors work assiduously to get off of Kong’s island while at the same time dealing with their own issues, and the entire endeavor is laced with fun, primarily in the form of John C Reilly, who has been abandoned on Skull Island after his fighter went down during World War II. So he’s a little loopy.
It gets a little ragged at the end, and the emotional connect between Kong and his new gal (Brie Larsen) is rushed, but this is loads of fun. The likes of Zack Snyder should take note. It’s a monkey. A big monkey. Just like Superman and Batman are not real people, there is no need to delve deeply into their anguish, deepest thoughts, and societal implications. Lighten up.