In Review: Kong: Skull Island

Set in the 1973 the film sees technology of the late 20th century proving to be no match for King Kong.

Synopsis: When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man.

Review: Just released on Amazon this week. ‘Kong: Skull Island’ gives people a much different take on King Kong than the overlong Peter Jackson take, which was released in 2005.

Set in the 1973 the film sees technology of the late 20th century proving to be no match for King Kong. In fact the soldiers led by the unhinged Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) prove to be no match for the island. 

The main story concerning Kong is how our human visitors have awoken the skull monsters. Kong’s only real enemy on the island. We learn that Kong only attacks when provoked. He’s not a brutal ape for the sake of being brutal. In fact the natural human inhabitants of the island worship Kong because he has protected them.

As far as the cast are concerned. They very much play second fiddle to Kong, which is as it should be, but this does not mean that we do not have some interesting and fun characters.

The standouts for me were Lt Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly) who opens up the film as a younger man parachuting in after his world war II fighter plane is shot down. Marlow is the voice of reason when we see Packard flexing his muscles and getting into a pissing contest with Kong. A contest that he obviously loses. 

Tom Hiddleston does a great job of playing the anti hero who ultimately becomes a hero insofar as he is able to. And Brie Larson takes on a more modern interpretation of the classic Fay Wray role and John Goodman makes a good fist of being the expedition leader.

The surprise package comes from ’24: Legacy’s’ Corey Hawkins who plays John Goodman’s assistant Houston Brooks. Hawkins brings forth a more comedic role as a somewhat clumsy geek, which is a huge contrast to what we saw him do in the ill fated 24 reboot. 

The CGI work on the various creatures is brilliant and though this Kong was not as expressive as the Andy Serkis version. The animators were still able to convey a wide range of emotions out of their Kong.

The finale battle between Kong and the giant Skull Lizard was thrilling and didn’t outstay its welcome.

For a popcorn movie ‘Kong: Skull Island’ was packed with thrills and a booming 70’s soundtrack, which I really appreciated.

The acting performances were solid and the action was great.

Out of the human actors. It was John C. Riley that stole the show for me.

You can’t really ask for to much more than that.

Kong: Skull Island
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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