King Kong has had a long history on the big screen, starting with the 1933 classic and all the way to Peter Jackson's 2005 remake. Now, its time to introduce audiences to a brand new Kong, and expand this new universe of monsters that started with 2014's "Godzilla".

New king on the block

Rather than going modern day as the aforementioned "Godzilla", "Kong: Skull Island" takes place in 1973, at the end of the Vietnam War. A survey mission heads to the South Pacific to map an uncharted island that has been discovered, only to find the extraordinary creatures that call the island home.

This serves as the backdrop that brings Kong back to the big screen in grand fashion, and his presence is felt, and seen, very quickly.

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This is one way that "Kong: Skull Island" sets itself apart from "Godzilla", which teased the titular monster and fight for much of the film before delivering on both in the third act. Kong, on the other hand, is seen very quickly and thrust into multiple fights during the film.

These set-pieces are big, physical affairs for all on the screen, delivering some of the most fun and memorable moments of the film. This should appease fans that complained about the lack of Godzilla in his own movie, as Kong definitely feels like the star of his own movie.

The titular island feels just as dangerous and awe-inspiring as the great ape himself. Multiple creatures are glimpsed throughout the film that tease the world that was before humanity took over. And Kong is given worthy enemies in the skull crawlers, the apex predators of the island.

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Everything feels like it fits in with the world that is being built, teasing a world that was and what the world may become because of these monsters.

Monster fodder

While the monsters and action deliver in spades, the humans that serve as the audiences eyes thru all of this don't. This is the most disappointing aspect of the film, considering this is a cast that includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman. Instead of having any real character development or evolution, everyone is a caricature of someone from a 'Nam era film, from Jackson's gruff colonel to Larson's anti-war photographer or Jason Mitchell's smart-mouth pilot. Instead, most of the humans present are really there to drive the story to the next monster encounter which, given the movie, can be a bit forgivable.

The only one given any bit of depth in this is John C. Reilly's Hank Marlow, a World War II pilot who has been stranded on the island. He is the only one who has any meaningful depth, coming across as someone who longs to go home but accepted his fate of living on the island.

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It is just disappointing that no one else is really given even a bit of this kind of depth.

Despite the lack of depth, "Kong: Skull Island" still delivers a roaring time at the movie theater, giving audiences all the monster action they can handle. This definitely introduced a worthy heir to the Kong title, one fans will be seeing sooner rather than later. Oh, and fyi, stay thru the credits for one of the best teases for whats to come for this 'MonsterVerse', as Kong and Godzilla look to be getting some company. #Kong Skull Island #Film Review