At the tail end of the Vietnam war a scientific expedition heads to an uncharted island. A place untouched by man and ruled by monsters.
The film features a diverse cast, none of whom really get to shine, with perhaps one exception. Bill Randa (John Goodman) is the head of Monarch Industries who gets the expedition under way who has a secret reason for going, James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) is the stoic ex SAS mercenary hired to help, Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) is a soldier unhappy his war is coming to an end and Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) is a photo journalist asked to document the trip. The exception comes with Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), a World War 2 fighter pilot shot down over the island nearly 30 years earlier. His slightly crazed soldier brings plenty of entertainment to the film. In fact, from the human standpoint, he is the only one of interest.
Do the monsters make up for this? Mostly, they do! Kong features heavily from the start, there are no slow reveals here. His fights are impressive and the effects work strong. Other creatures feature as well, mostly of the giant variety and are also pretty impressive.
All in all though, I would much rather have seen Hank Marlow’s “Enemy Mine” storyline, when he crash lands on the island with a Japanese fighter pilot and learn more about the indigenous human tribes than spend time with the characters we do.
Kong’s return to the big screen is part of Warner Brothers planned “Monsterverse” which began with Gareth Edwards Godzilla reboot in 2014. If you want to see the link you will need to stay to the very end of the credits. The next film planned, is a sequel to Godzilla in 2019.