The Latest King Kong Is Worthy of the Legend

You're in for 'shocking violence,' 'great fun'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2017 11:43 AM CST

A team sets out to explore a mysterious island in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and soon discovers the fist of a massive monkey in Kong: Skull Island. It might be a familiar story, but critics are mostly applauding Jordan Vogt-Roberts' telling. Here's what they’re saying:

  • Richard Roeper calls it a "wildly entertaining" B-movie with an A-list cast. Among its best qualities are "remarkable visuals" and "perfectly timed moments of comedic relief," he writes at the Chicago Sun-Times. For those who want it, there's "shocking violence," too, yet the film also "has a sense of humor about itself," Roeper says. "It's great stuff."
  • For a film that takes inspiration from Apocalypse Now, Kong: Skull Island is "surprisingly fun and fresh," writes Katie Walsh at the Tribune News Service. But though "never boring," it also "never sits still," a fault Walsh blames on too many characters. Samuel L. Jackson's Col. Packard isn't one she'd be willing to lose, though. He's "riveting."

  • Tom Shone was not on the same page. Here's "the usual story: a lopsided mixture of mega-blast effects and a script that hasn't worked out what opposable thumbs are for," he writes at Newsweek. Thank goodness for John C. Reilly "stealing every scene," he adds. "You'd say he was the comic relief, except Kong: Skull Island can't seem to manage seriousness in the first place. Quit monkeying around."
  • Stephanie Zacharek agrees Reilly is "wonderful," but that's not all she has to admire. "Vogt-Roberts knows he's gotta go big or go home, so he treads boldly." The result is a film that's "great fun" as well as "grand and nutty and visually splendid," she writes at Time. The real star, however, is Kong. "He's the movie's soulful center" and might even "make you cry."
(More movie review stories.)

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