Kong: Skull Island is the textbook definition of a mixed-bag movie. While it's clocked up a solid critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes so far, it's also worth noting that the average score is only hovering around the 6.5 mark, indicating a film that's in or slightly above the three-star region.
Kong will likely end up frustrating many because it absolutely doesn't live up to the potential of the talents both behind and in front of the camera, but if you go in with the right mindset and take lofty expectations out of the equation, it does manage to serve up two hours of dumb popcorn escapism.
Almost every positive is counter-balanced by a negative point here, making Kong's latest reboot a resoundingly average, watchable effort. Here's why...
First things first: if you're expecting anyone to put on an acting clinic here, this isn't the movie for you. Sadly the overwhelming majority of the admittedly strong cast aren't put to particularly compelling use, especially Tom Hiddleston's ex-SAS tracker and Brie Larson's photographer, both of whose character names you'll likely not remember, nor much of what they do throughout the movie.
Furthermore, John Goodman appears and disappears out of the film so much it feels like he had to rush off for a personal emergency during filming, Toby Kebbell is wasted on a lame-brained personal subplot that goes almost nowhere, Straight Outta Compton's Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell and indie darling Thomas Mann don't even make a dent, and finally, the brilliant Richard Jenkins shows up for a single forgettable scene at the very beginning of the movie.
The cast is an embarrassment of riches that the script frankly doesn't deserve, but it's safe to say the actors were at least well-compensated for simply being present and serving as recognisable faces for the marketing.