“Kong: Skull Island” is an exciting, action-packed adventure which also features very human characters. Included in this group is Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) who, when she sees Kong, feels sympathy for him. After all, despite his aggressive nature toward the “intruders,” they are invading his homeland and not vice versa. Also, she and James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), who was hired because of his know-how in navigating the dangers of Skull Island, help soldier Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), who has long been stranded on the island—before the end of World War ll. Marlow left behind a wife and an infant son. It is his goal, if they somehow escape Skull Island alive, to find them. The plot takes place in 1974. Archived footage of various presidents is featured, including President Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.
The island is called “Skull Island” for a reason—it is filled with dangers and death. Several battles ensue between Kong and soldiers as well as Kong and a skull-like humongous creature whose leader killed Kong’s parents. All that is left of them are their bones. Throw in a large, vicious spider, not to mention other frightening creatures—including a dangerous “stick” creature—and surviving Skull Island becomes a major challenge. Kong himself is impressive—powerful, huge, and the kind of character you would rather have on your side than against you. In fact, in a touching scene in the movie, Mason touches Kong on the face, and he seems to genuinely take to her, which is a good thing. Later on she finds herself in serious trouble with Kong being her only hope to survive.
We are unable to award our Dove Family-Approved Seal to the film due to strong violence in some scenes as well as harsh language. But the positive side of this movie is its ability to give us a truly frightening island, not to mention a menacing Kong. The movie would have benefited by the filmmakers choosing to edit it to a shorter running time, but there’s no shortage of action to keep the viewer’s eyes focused on the big screen.