The Daily Cup 61 Kong: Skull Island

Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.

You know what we haven’t had since Pacific Rim? A good old fashioned giant monster movie. You know what we got with Kong: Skull Island (2017)? A good old fashioned monster movie. The film is fun, stylistic, and packed with plenty of awesome action. Throw in a dash of witty dialogue and humor and it’s a very solid entry into the giant monster movie genre. It’s not without its flaws but it is really fun.

Kong SI still.jpg

Kong: Skull Island is the eighth film to feature the towering giant ape with a heart of gold. The twist this time is that the film is set in the 1970s, and is a Vietnam War movie, with giant monsters. As you’d expect from a Vietnam War movie it’s replete with helicopters, machine guns, and cliched music (seriously can we please ban CCR from all films set in the Vietnam era). At times this plays a little thin, but it does set up an awesome sequence of Kong fighting a seemingly endless wave of helicopters, so that’s frickin cool.

While the performances in this film are good, most of the human characters in the film are unnecessary. While I adore John Goodman, he is little more than an exposition giver as government scientist Bill Randa. He’s a Captain Ahab, obsessed with finding and proving giant monster exist, even if it gets a ton of people killed. Tom Hiddleston who plays master tracker and man of reason James Conrad, does little more than kickass and look pretty, both things he does very well in this movie. John C. Reilly plays a mentally unstable goofball (a stretch I know), but he is funny. Samuel Jackson is well, Sam fucking Jackson, and Brie Larson dangerously straddles the line of damsel in distress (it’s the 21st century, lets be done with that narrative concept), but does have some agency of her own. Ultimately this is a fantastic cast that is given very little to do, and are all blatant tropes.

Typically trope characters that don’t do much equates me not liking a film at all. However the humans of this film are just the fluff, the exposition barfers and conduits into the world that is Skull Island. The island and its deadly and exotic fauna are the real stars of the film. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts did an excellent job with his effects and art teams to create a vibrant prehistoric world of death that is amazing to watch. There are so many cool monsters of all shapes and sizes, and most of them either kill humans or each other in amazing ways. Every single fight scene with the titular ape are amazing and worth the price of admission by themselves.

Packed with a bunch of (mostly) pointless human characters Kong: Skull Island is a fun vehicle for giant monsters to fight, bite, and crash their way across the screen for two hours. There are some truly inspired action sequences that are amazingly cool and fun to watch. The cinematography and art direction are top notch, adding up to a damn fine entry into modern monster movies.


Movies new to me watched: 47/292

Other movies: 14/73

Total movies watched: 61/365

Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at or on Twitter at @kbdekker.