Kong: Skull Island

**1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Kong: Skull Island
"Boggles the mind and stretches credibility to the outer reaches of imagination"

Forget about the big ape who loves the girl and comes to New York and is gunned down off the Empire State Building. This is closer to Conan Doyle's The Lost World, a story of intrepid adventurers who discover an island where giant creatures live, breathe and eat each other.

Geologists, led by a slimmed down John Goodman, persuade a cynical senator to green light a scientific study of this island that has remained hidden from the world by a fierce band of weather, consisting of a permanent electrical storm that boggles the mind and stretches credibility to the outer reaches of imagination.

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They request military support in the form of Samuel L Jackson as one of those "kill the son of a bitch" generals who would nuke a mosquito if it pissed them off and a squad of expendable GIs. Add a tracker, some English toff with experience in exploration, played by Tom Hiddleston, who has been to the gym since The Night Manager, and Brie Larson as a photojournalist with squeeze potential.

Once they reach the island in helicopters, some of which don't make it through the storm, computer generated wild life takes over as the plot stalls. Who's next for an anti tank missile? Who's next for a raptor's lunch? As for Kong, he is the size of a low rent skyscraper and makes a lot of noise, but he's not the worst. There are lizard things with heads like sculptured gull skulls and mouths as wide as car ferries.

Where is this leading? Nowhere on stilts. Goodman drops bombs to test the undercrust. Samuel L shoots anything that moves. Tom H stands tall and purposeful on cliff tops. Larson bustles about taking pictures and avoiding a wet one from The Hid.

Avatar had weapons-heavy Trump heads who wanted to spell out America Is Great in collateral damage, same as Samuel L here, but James Cameron's blue people are closer to heaven that these prehistoric predators.

Reviewed on: 07 Mar 2017
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Kong: Skull Island packshot
Scientists, soldiers, a photo journalist and an English toff explore a hidden island stuffed with dangerously large preditors

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Writer: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C Reilly, Corey Hawkins, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell

Year: 2017

Runtime: 118 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US, Vietnam

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