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Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Starring Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Tian Jing, John Ortiz, John C. Reilly. (2017, PG-13, 118 min.)

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., March 17, 2017

You drive me ape, you big gorilla. Of course I’m referring to what Robert Armstrong’s big game hunter Carl Denham referred to as “the eighth wonder of the world” in the 1933 original King Kong, which, to this day, remains unsurpassed in terms of style, substance, and sentimentality. “It was beauty killed the beast,” opined Denham but really it was the machine gun fire from the biplanes that toppled the king from his throne atop the Empire State Building. In Kong: Skull Island, the shaggy hero – and he’s definitely played, via motion capture and millions of dollars of computer graphics, as a hero here, protector of the Asiatic native tribe who resides on the island along with a genuinely nutty World War II navy pilot whose P-51 ditched on the beach way back in 1945. That’s the prologue. Here’s the pitch meeting as I imagine it: “Hey, what if we do Kong as a Vietnam War movie, and have him square off against a squadron of Huey choppers led by a Samuel L. Jackson in over-the-top badass mode? Throw in John Goodman in the old Denham role and, I dunno, maybe Brie Larson, as an anti-war combat photographer? Kinda Fay Wray: Social Justice Warrior-esque? Whaddaya think?”

And presto, there you have the newest iteration of one of cinema’s most enduring behemoths. Featuring enough spectacular, slow-motion action scenes of Kong wrasslin’ with the island’s other toothy critters and swatting helos out of the sky like gnats to give the Tojo’s titanic trifecta of Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah a run for their combined chaos-causing charisma. There’s no doubt that Kong: Skull Island makes for a swell Saturday afternoon monster matinee, just don’t run to the jungle expecting any real characterization from the human actors in the film (Reilly, who’s a hoot, excepted). The whole of the story – penned by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, and Derek Connolly – is so basic that I’ve already encapsulated it above, but then again, who goes to a giant monster movie looking for nuance and grace? (Okay, yes, Peter Jackson, fair enough.)

Skull Island is nothing like that Kiwi director’s 2005, Depression-Era reboot. This monkey doesn’t have time for romance because he’s too busy ripping the guts out of giant reptiles dubbed “skull crushers” who live in the hollow world below. He’s also pulling hazard pay playing super-sized savior to leading man Hiddleston and company when he’s not actually smushing the guts out of our GI Joes beneath his monstrous foot. This version does not, uh, monkey around when it comes to extreme violence and digital gore, and I was frankly surprised it managed to secure the coveted PG-13 rating.

On the whole, though, Kong: Skull Island is great big dumb fun. It’s also shockingly beautiful to look at when you aren’t having creature guts flung into the camera. Shot on location in northern Vietnam’s famous Ninh Binh province, the real-life scenery is every bit as dazzling as the computer generated 'copter carnage onscreen. If there’s been a better advertisement to visit historic Vietnam, I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been there.

Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline

14028 U.S. Hwy. 183 N.  512/861-7070

https://drafthouse.com/austin/theater/lakeline

TUE MAR 28

3:00, 5:10, 8:15, 11:15
AFA: 11:50am

WED MAR 29

11:50am, 3:00, 9:30

Alamo Drafthouse Mueller

1911 Aldrich Street, Suite 120  512/572-1425

https://drafthouse.com/austin/calendar/mueller

TUE MAR 28

4:15, 7:30, 10:40
AFA: 1:45

WED MAR 29

1:45, 4:15, 7:30

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter  512/861-7060

drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

TUE MAR 28

3:15, 6:30, 9:40

WED MAR 29

11:45am, 3:10, 6:30, 9:40

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar

1120 S. Lamar  512/861-7040

drafthouse.com/theater/south-lamar

TUE MAR 28

4:55, 10:10
AFA: 1:55

WED MAR 29

1:55, 4:55, 10:10

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson  512/861-7030

drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

TUE MAR 28

4:15, 10:50
AFA: 12:30

WED MAR 29

12:10, 4:20, 10:45

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy  512/306-1991

www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

TUE MAR 28

3-D, CC/DVS: 5:45
CC/DVS: 11:45am, 2:45, 8:45

WED MAR 29

3-D, CC/DVS: 5:45
CC/DVS: 11:45am, 2:45, 8:45

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park  800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

TUE MAR 28

digital: 12:40, 3:50, 6:50, 9:50

WED MAR 29

digital: 12:40, 3:50, 6:50, 9:50

THU MAR 30

digital: 12:40, 3:50, 6:50, 9:50

Cinemark Hill Country Galleria 14

12812 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave  800/326-3264

www.cinemark.com/theater_showtimes.asp?theater_id=377

TUE MAR 28

3-D: 3:20, 6:35, 9:40
digital: 10:30am, 12:10, 1:35, 4:40, 7:40, 10:35

WED MAR 29

3-D: 3:20, 6:35, 9:40
digital: 10:30am, 12:10, 1:35, 4:40, 7:40, 10:35

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

TUE MAR 28

3-D: 9:40
digital: 1:50, 3:25, 4:55, 7:40, 10:35

WED MAR 29

3-D: 9:40
digital: 1:50, 3:25, 4:55, 7:40, 10:35

THU MAR 30

digital: 1:50, 3:25, 4:55, 7:40, 10:35

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

TUE MAR 28

3-D: 12:10, 3:00
digital: 10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:15, 10:10

WED MAR 29

3-D: 12:10, 3:00
digital: 10:45am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:15, 10:10

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., Pflugerville  512/251-0938

www.cinemark.com

TUE MAR 28

digital: 12:55, 4:30, 8:30

WED MAR 29

digital: 12:55, 4:30, 8:30

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown  512/868-9922

TUE MAR 28

1:00, 4:05, 7:00, 9:55

WED MAR 29

1:00, 4:05, 7:00, 9:55

THU MAR 30

1:00, 4:05, 7:00, 9:55

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle  512/523-9009

www.evo-entertainment.com

TUE MAR 28

11:10am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:30, 10:30

WED MAR 29

11:10am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:30, 10:30

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock  512/244-3549

www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

TUE MAR 28

Reserved Seating: 11:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:00, 10:45

WED MAR 29

Reserved Seating: 11:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:00, 10:45

THU MAR 30

Reserved Seating: 11:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:00, 10:45

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville  512/467-7305

www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

TUE MAR 28

12:50, 3:35, 6:30, 9:20

WED MAR 29

12:50, 3:35, 6:30, 9:20

THU MAR 30

12:50

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake  512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

TUE MAR 28

3-D, CC/DVS: 8:00
CC/DVS: 12:15, 3:15, 6:15, 9:45

WED MAR 29

3-D, CC/DVS: 8:00
CC/DVS: 12:15, 3:15, 6:15, 9:45

THU MAR 30

3-D, CC/DVS: 10:15
CC/DVS: 12:15, 3:15, 6:15, 9:45

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart  512/398-4100

www.hometowncinemas.com

TUE MAR 28

11:25am, 2:00, 4:35, 7:15

WED MAR 29

11:25am, 2:00, 4:35, 7:15

THU MAR 30

11:25am, 2:00, 4:35, 7:15

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza  512/568-3400

www.ipic.com

TUE MAR 28

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 10:00

WED MAR 29

11:30am, 3:00, 6:30, 10:00

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop  512/321-0123

www.schulmantheatres.com

TUE MAR 28

10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

WED MAR 29

10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

THU MAR 30

10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas  512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

TUE MAR 28

3-D, CC/DVS: 2:30, 5:30, 8:30
CC/DVS: 12:45, 4:00, 7:00, 10:20

WED MAR 29

3-D, CC/DVS: 2:30, 5:30, 8:30
CC/DVS: 12:45, 4:00, 7:00, 10:20

THU MAR 30

3-D, CC/DVS: 2:30, 5:30, 8:30
CC/DVS: 12:45, 4:00, 7:00, 10:20

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B  512/501-3520

www.themoviehouse.com/austin/

TUE MAR 28

10:40am, 1:45, 5:00, 8:30

WED MAR 29

10:40am, 1:45, 5:00, 8:30

THU MAR 30

10:40am, 1:45, 5:00, 8:30

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

TUE MAR 28

1:45, 4:30, 7:10

WED MAR 29

1:45, 4:30, 7:10

THU MAR 30

1:45, 4:30, 7:10

The Spot Cinema Eatery & Social Haus

1180 Thorpe Lane #130, San Marcos  512/210-8600

https://www.evo-entertainment.com/locations/the-spot/

TUE MAR 28

4:30, 7:35, 10:40

WED MAR 29

4:30, 7:35, 10:40

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos  512/805-8000

TUE MAR 28

11:10am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:25, 10:30

WED MAR 29

11:10am, 1:55, 4:40, 7:25, 10:30

Tinseltown North

N. I-35 & FM 1825, Pflugerville  512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

TUE MAR 28

digital: 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

WED MAR 29

digital: 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar Blvd  512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

TUE MAR 28

3-D, CC/DVS: 1:45, 4:30, 7:15, 10:05
CC/DVS: 10:05am, 12:50, 3:35, 6:20, 9:05

WED MAR 29

3-D, CC/DVS: 1:45, 4:30, 7:15, 10:05
CC/DVS: 10:05am, 12:50, 3:35, 6:20, 9:00

THU MAR 30

3-D, CC/DVS: 1:45, 4:30
CC/DVS: 2:15, 5:00
READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Kong: Skull Island, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Tian Jing, John Ortiz, John C. Reilly

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