King Kong seems to hold endless fascination.
Ever since the Great Ape’s roaring debut back in 1933, Kong has captured the imagination of millions of moviegoers around the world. The gigantic gorilla has become hugely popular and has starred in a vast number of remakes, sequels, and monster fights.
The latest adventure, “Kong: Skull Island,” hit movie theaters across the country March 10. How does it compare to other classic Kong movies and moments? Well, one thing is sure: “Skull Island” is highly entertaining from start to finish and is certain to keep audiences captivated and thrilled for over two hours.
This blockbuster is much more a fun monster bash than a “Beauty and the Beast” tale. The year is 1973 — the time of the Vietnam War, Nixon and the Watergate scandal. An American military expedition discovers that prehistoric creatures and other weird beasts actually exist on an uncharted island in the South Pacific. There are lots of pop culture references and music montages and director Jordan Vogt-Roberts really keeps the action moving until the first time we see the monsters. And what a moment of majesty it is when Army helicopters first spot King Kong on the island and head in for an attack. Kong is angry that his turf has been invaded and swats the helicopters, taking down many of the flying machines in his wrath.
At first it seems like this version of King Kong is scarier and more ferocious than previous incarnations, but in time we see he fights only if provoked and often can be a gentle giant. This new Kong is one of the biggest of them all — a whopping 100 feet tall and still growing. Obviously, one of the reasons for the height increase is to set up a highly-anticipated showdown with the “Big G” himself in “King Kong vs. Godzilla” set for 2020.
Until then, there are several other scary monsters for Kong to fight on Skull Island. The Great Ape proves time and time again able to handle all challengers. Expedition members battle several beasts as well, including a freaky 50-foot tall long-legged spider, flying bat-like beasts, and other monstrosities.
“Skull Island” boasts an impressive cast led by Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the Thor movies), John C. Reilley (who never fails to provide comic relief), John Goodman (a solid veteran performer), and Samuel L. Jackson in a villainous role that fans may find shocking.
Of course, there has to be a “blonde beauty” in any good Kong movie and this time that role goes to talented performer Brie Larson. The Oscar-winning actress is following in some big footsteps like Fay Wray, Jessica Lange, and Naomi Watts. While those actresses were part of a “Beauty and the Beast” storyline, Larson’s role is more of a tough adventurer fighting for survival with a mostly-male crew. There still are some tender moments in “Skull Island,” although this movie doesn’t nearly carry the emotional impact of director Peter Jackson’s heartbreaking “King Kong” in 2005.
All things considered, “Skull Island” is a lot of fun, especially for fans of the giant monster genre. Kong is still King until he’s dethroned. And that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. But will Kong meet his match against Godzilla? Stay tuned.