And the CGI is pretty excellent. There are giant musk oxen, giant spiders, a giant octopus, a giant gorilla (incidentally every character who refers to Kong's species refers to him as a monkey), and then there are these evil fucking reptiles with heads like the skinless skulls of giant, dead lizards. All of this looked very real to me, and the CGI team also gives us countless explosions, waves, and helicopter crashes, as well. All of it works well, and the sound effects editing is also excellent.
But it's Kong's plot that works the best. It never bothers with sentimentality – substituting the protagonists' feelings of wonder and awe for sentiment and renewed courage and other well-worn action-movie tropes. Kong simply doesn't have time for that sort of thing. Or rather it doesn't take time for those sorts of things the way a lesser movie would. In Kong there's always another monster attacking that we need to figure out how to neutralize.
|Kong killing monsters? Thank you, and more, please.|
|Mr. Kebbell, when not covered by a mo-cap suit|
In any case, I recommend this. It's much better than the third Apes movie, doesn't take itself at all seriously, and never slows down for a minute. The third act, in which Kong fights beast after beast, is an absolute pleasure. The fact that Kong: Skull Island was directed by the same guy who directed The Kings of Summer is a bit shocking to me (this is only his second feature!), but it makes as much sense as anything else does in this world.
(Also, I obviously love monster movies. I don't think was clear to me before, but it is now.)