This more violent throwback to a monster classic gets a solid 4 Icees (out of 5). This movie isn’t like the most recent Godzilla movie (although they are connected) as that movie didn’t quite have the same death toll and monster violence that this one does.
Putting that aside, this movie otherwise does remind you of those movies from the 60’s as it focuses a lot on the people involved and the monsters are thrown in for good measure. I will say that Kong and his fellow monsters do have much more airtime than Godzilla did a couple back in 2014. You read that right… fellow monsters. This movie isn’t only about the big guy as he has things that he will fight throughout the movie. After all, you didn’t really think that an island isolated from the world for centuries would just have one monster, did you?
The characters in this movie do a pretty good job. There are a few points where it’s just “campy”, but otherwise the plot and acting are pretty good. Someone who I normally enjoy as an actor, Samuel L. Jackson, didn’t do as good as he normally does. Here he’s just too one-dimensional with his obsession. I know that’s what the role called for, but I think he just took it a bit too much over the top. The other actors however, including Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Brie Larson (the future Captain Marvel) and John Goodman all gave really good performances. Even John C. Reilly as a comic relief type of character did a really good job showing both the comic and serious side of his character.
It’s interesting the way they did this one, especially if you compare it to the Godzilla movie. Where Godzilla was set in today’s time, Kong happened back in 1973. You will hear about some connections (for example, MONARCH is mentioned a couple of times). It will be interesting to see how they mesh those two together when they put the two in a movie together (currently set to release in 2020).
Now let’s get back to that whole violence thing. People die in this movie, plain and simple, and some of their deaths are not pretty. I wouldn’t recommend this for pre-teens and I would be sure that your teenagers are aware that this won’t be as tame as Godzilla was.
You note how I assume throughout this post that people watched the Godzilla movie back in 2014? Well, I apologize if you didn’t, but that’s ok because you don’t have to have seen Godzilla in order to enjoy Kong.
There is a scene during the credits and a short one after the credits that sets up the future movie(s). It will help if you know Godzilla lore, but even if you don’t, I think you’ll get the jist.