Who can really resist a movie with King Kong? I cannot. Going back to the wonderful original from about 80 years ago, this is a story that is tried and true. There's not much you can do to foul up a movie starring the big ape. And, luckily, this latest incarnation called "Kong: Skull Island" does nothing to tarnish the tradition. Order a big tub of buttered popcorn and enjoy.
Yep, this is one of those movies that requires you check your logic at the door. Don't think too much about what you are seeing. Just relish in the thrills that come around every corner. You know you'll be treated to a few good scares, some big laughs, and, oh, yeah, Kong himself. This is junk done right and you know there are plenty of films out there which are junk done horribly and completely wrong.
Indeed, this one follows the format of dozens of Kong movies previously produced. A bunch of explorers and, in this case, some troops straight out of Vietnam (keep in mind that the film is set in 1973) head for an excursion to this island that time and nature forgot. Kong rules the roost of course, but he's always challenged by a bunch of prehistoric creatures that are just too numerous and creepy to mention. This is how the first movie unfolded in 1932 and nothing is really different in 2017. Okay, this time around, Kong never does get to New York where he can punch out the Third Avenue El. But so what? The Big Apple has enough problems with Mayor DeBlasio these days.
The exploring group is comprised of your usual stereotypical heroes and assholes. John Goodman is a guy who winds up taking one too many pictures. Brie Larson, fresh from her Oscar winning stint last year, spends a lot of time falling in the mud. And John C. Reilly plays a hermit who hasn't been off this island since 1944. Out of civilization, he asks if the Chicago Cubs have yet to win the World Series. And, okay, Hollywood, I am serving notice that this wink, wink ironic joke has gotten tired already.
Of course, what Kong movie wouldn't be complete without the real jerk who is looking to kill everything in sight? And, as usual, this asshole is played by the epitome of actor assholes, one Samuel L. Jackson, whose ultimate fate as a snack for some creature is anticipated with great glee. I hate this guy as an actor and, thank God, he usually gets the comeuppance I wish for in every movie.
There are a bunch of other characters you may or may not care about. But they are purely future munchies for the monsters on display. Of course, you know that Kong himself will ultimately show off his heart of gold and be the hero. But the fun is getting there. And this is a two-hour movie that moves so quickly that you think it's only ninety minutes long.
Is "Kong: Skull Island" ridiculous? Of course. Is it miraculous film making? Of course not. Are you having fun? You bet.
Can I get a refill on this popcorn?
LEN'S RATING: Three stars.
Dinner last night: Leftover baby back ribs.