Belfast Telegraph

Kong: Skull Island - Rollicking action but a lack of bite

 

By Damon Smith

Bill Randa (John Goodman) spearheads a secretive government organisation called Monarch, which specialises "in the hunt for massive unidentified terrestrial organisms".

He leads an exploratory geological survey to a Pacific island, which is encircled by an electrical storm, and sequesters Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson) to fly the mission.

Packard corrals his best pilots and loads aircraft with sonic bombs to map the island's topography.

Passengers include tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), anti-war photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), geologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins) and biologist San Lin (Tian Jing).

The team's sonic weapons rouse a giant ape and the plans are smashed to smithereens.

Kong: Skull Island is a rollicking action adventure directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, which angrily flexes its muscles, but punches below its weight.

Hiddleston is unconvincing as a former British soldier, hired to lead the expedition, and his centrepiece action sequence involving a samurai sword and gas mask is superfluous and almost laughable in its execution.

Three stars

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