Kong: Skull Island12¦ 3D Blu-ray, DVD
In 1933 a cinematic icon was born. Actress Fay Wray found herself on top of the Empire State building in the tight grip of King Kong.
Since then cinema has had an on/off fascination with the Kongster, being dusted down as he is, every once and a while, to beat his impressive chest for a new audience.
In this latest outing, Kong finds himself being once again pestered by mankind.
It's 1973 and Bill Randa (John Goodman), a scientist working for Monarch, has just secured government approval for an expedition to an uncharted land. He can't go alone however, so has military back up, headed by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), a tracker by the name of James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) as well as his own small team.
Breaking through a heavy storm with helicopters, the group can finally see the island in their sights. But unbeknownst to them, a large creature has also seen them coming, and makes his feelings known regarding this intrusion.
With the group swiftly decimated, only a number of them survive the attack. They concentrate on leaving the island and avoiding the creature known as Kong, but they soon learn that he's not the only threat they have to get passed alive if they're to survive.
Kong: Skull Island is a true Frankenstein's monster of a monster flick. It's influence are obvious, including the Jurassic Park films, Apocalypse Now as well as a myriad of classic Japanese monster films. And although it's far from original, the sum of its parts are surprisingly enjoyable.
Despite being only his second film (his first being the superb The Kings of Summer, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has created a classic B-movie on a huge budget, with enough thrills and spills to please the most avid monster fan.
There are some nice performances from the ensemble cast, but none shine as brighter than John C. Reilly, who effortlessly steals the show.
The only real shock is that Andy Serkis isn't involved in bringing Kong to life; this duty was left to fellow Brit Toby Kebbell (who also appears in human form for his troubles) to get to grips with.
With Hiddleston shooting himself in the 007 foot after his embarrassing Hiddleswift outings, he makes amends here somewhat, playing a tough and savvy Brit. Nothing amazing to see, but works well within the strong ensemble.
It's no surprise that a sequel is on the horizon, with Kong catching up with fellow movie monster icon Godzilla. If it's on par with this excitingly silly offering, it'll be another giant hit.