Kong: Skull Island

2017 King Kong movie

Rating: 14/20

Plot: John Goodman takes a bunch of military guys and some scientists to the titular island in order to win a bet, and it turns out to be a bad idea because of a giant monkey and some reptiles with arms.

Forget the monster brawls and action mayhem that most people went to the theater to enjoy. This movie is all about John C. Reilly sneaking his Dr. Steve Brule character from Tim and Eric's Awesome Show Great Job! into a blockbuster. You can argue with me that it's not Brule, that I'm only imagining it's Brule because Reilly's playing a guy who's kind of crazy and has John C. Reilly's hair, but you're going to lose the argument. I mean, his jacket clearly reads "For Your Health" on the back, and that's Brule's catchphrase. So, checkmate.

This movie isn't without its narrative issues and annoying cliches, but it's got terrific special effects and some thrilling action sequences. Once those helicopters take off from the ship to fight through storm clouds to get to the island, the movie just doesn't let up. There's not much time to develop these characters into anything but types, and you could probably pick out which characters will survive Skull Island and which ones won't, but let's be honest with ourselves. You're not seeing a King Kong movie because of the human characters.

I will say that the movie touches on something interesting by creating two distinct philosophies with how the characters wanted to deal with the situation. You had one camp that was aggressive, one that wanted to dive into a problem with both dicks and weapons blazing while the other had a more passive ideology. I think this was meant to reflect the times during which the movie actually took place--right at the end of the Vietnam War--but it managed to fit in with our numerous current conflicts around the world, too. There were some nifty lessons burbling beneath the surface of Skull Island, but the movie wasn't all that interested in exploring those all that deeply.

King Kong looks so good in this movie, but I would have liked to see his penis. Actually, I would have liked to see a hornier version of the iconic monster. A non-horny King Kong just doesn't work. If Brie Larson (or John Goodman, really) can't get the big guy going, I'm not sure what's going on.

The post-credits scene reveals some serious monster funk in our future, and I probably got overly excited about that.

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