For as much as I appreciated the self-aware and B-movie nature of Skull Island, it’s faithful a little too much to what made those old monster movies bad as well as fun. We don’t really care about the humans in these monster pictures and this movie still feels the need to go through the motions of needless introductions and expositions. There are simply too many characters to be bothered with caring about the scientists with their hollow Earth theory or the colonel with his convictions about finishing a war he starts. Nearly every human character exists for cracking some lame jokes in between all the action. And I hope you like those quintessential 1970s rock songs played over war footage because the movie exhausts nearly all of them. All these elements don’t bring the movie too far down, but they don’t exactly showcase how the giant monster movie genre has evolved since the 20th century.
Kong: Skull Island doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a goofy giant monster movie, practically winking the whole way through as though this were more of a satire. What matters is that the movie delivers where it counts and that lies in how great Kong appears on screen. He smacks some helicopters, busts up some monsters, has a tender moment with the leading female and defends her in a brutal battle to the death with a dinosaur-like creature.
The script goes about its plot in a casual nature, but how deep do we really need a movie to be about a giant ape that throws a propeller blade at a skull-monster like a shuriken? The kids who will flock to this movie won’t really care about a romance that develops between Hiddleston and Larson (which doesn’t happen), but they’ll certainly gush to all their friends about the moment Kong ripped out the guts of another giant monster through their throat.