Kong: Skull Island Parent Review

If the purpose of the script is to make you go "eeew!", then it works well.

Overall B-

Big problems arise after the military escorts a team of scientists to survey a previously unexplored island. Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman star in this latest movie adaptation of the King Kong tale.

Violence D+
Sexual Content B
Profanity C-
Substance Use B-

Kong: Skull Island is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language.

Movie Review

In Kong: Skull Island, it’s 1973 and the Vietnam War has just ended. It appears mankind has claimed every last spec of the world. But Bill Randa (John Goodman) believes there is still something on the globe we don’t know about. When NASA’s first global mapping satellite discovers an unchartered landmass, the firm believer in monsters is convinced the curious locale holds a big secret. Yet the only way Randa can convince Senator Willis (Richard Jenkins) to mobilize a military escort to take a team to “Skull Island” is to fabricate the intent of the mission. Suggesting that there may be valuable things to discover, and that the US does not want the Russians getting there first, does the trick.

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Cloaked and surrounded by a continual storm that has mysteriously claimed a variety of ships over the centuries, the army calls upon Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) to head up the expedition to the island. Also joining the entourage is Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), a photojournalist looking for an exclusive story, and former British-Special-Forces-turned-professional-jungle-guide James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston). Finally, there’s a bevy of other participants who will ultimately become collateral damage and tasty morsels for what’s ahead.

To its credit, this movie reveals its monster early in the game. Purported to be the biggest Kong ever to grace the silver screen, the digital creature is imposing and protective of his natural habitat. Slapping down Huey helicopters like a camper going after mosquitoes, members of this crew with minimal speaking roles are soon dispatched in flames. However, the secrets this island holds go far beyond the giant ape. A wide variety of enormous zoological splendors awaits, and most of them are happy to encounter some fresh meat.

The assortment of food choices and jungle-dwelling munching monsters fills much of the film’s runtime where big things are seen being devoured by even bigger things. Some blood is depicted during the often shocking portrayals. A character is impaled by a giant insect, others are swept up and chewed, dismembered and regurgitated as bones. If the purpose is to make you go “eeew!”, then the script works well. You’ll also hear several mild and moderate profanities, as well as a sexual expletive.

With the body count quickly climbing, and Randa’s ulterior motives revealed, Packard initiates a power play and divides the group between those who want to kill anything that could pose danger to the outside world and those who fear disturbing the unique ecosystem could create even greater problems. This conflict applies to much of our decisions today as humans attempt to play the god of this world, determining what lives and what dies. One thing is certain though, the creators of this fictitious realm are hoping Kong will live long and prosper at the box office.

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts . Starring Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman . Running time: 119 minutes. Theatrical release March 10, 2017. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Kong: Skull Island here.

Kong: Skull Island Parents Guide

In the movie, Skull Island is described as a place where God did not finish creation. What do you think this means? What kinds of creatures live there? Do they seem prehistoric? Why are some of the characters afraid these species may want their Earth back? Why are others afraid to meddle with the island’s delicate ecological balance? How are these opinions also a concern in real world decisions?

Many of the characters portrayed here are soldiers. How are their responsibilities on this expedition different than those of the scientists and explorers? What does Bill Randa (John Goodman’s character) mean when he says, “Men go to war in search of something”? What is he searching for? What are the others searching for when they agree to join the mission? What is meant by the later statement: “No man really ever comes home from war”?

Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) is a photo journalist. What is she hoping to do with the images she captures? What does Colonel Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) mean when he says, “The camera is a more dangerous weapon than a gun”? In reality, how did the media influence the way the people at home viewed the Vietnam war?

Characters in this film discuss the Aesop fable about the mouse, the lion and the thorn. What relevance does the moral of this story have to the plot of the movie? What value might that message have in real life?