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‘Kong: Skull Island” is the newest remake in the “King Kong” line. We all know the story of Kong, so what could this film bring that we haven’t already seen?

Although the basics are still there — a bunch of people go to a strange island and find more than they bargain for — director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ rendition adapts the original story in inventive ways.

First, though, the stellar cast here must be mentioned. Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Tom Hiddleston — there is no shortage of talent. If you want to have a successful remake, the casting has to be on point. Here, each contributes something special. Jackson and Goodman lend a seriousness and credibility. Hiddleston proves to be a fresh and competent adventure hero, and Reilly does what Reilly does best — make you laugh with reality-dosed quips like “you’re all going to die here.”

The story itself is a welcome addition to the already extensive lore of King Kong. The military aspect and the ’70s-era setting makes the mood feel adventurous and thrilling. It’s also gritty, more along the lines of “Predator” and “Apocalypse Now” than the traditional damsel in distress King Kong story we’re accustomed to. The film’s music score is a blend of well-known hits from the ’70s and original pieces that contribute to a fun atmosphere throughout.

With the addition of creatures like the Skullcrawlers, we get to see a new and terrifying side to the island that makes you wonder what else could be out there in its vast ecosystem.

The crown jewel of any Kong film is, of course, the great ape himself, King Kong. Kong’s design, along with all visuals in the film, are spectacular. The creators have Kong’s scale down pat — he’s enormous and imposing. The landscapes are breathtaking — you could freeze nearly any frame and have a piece of art.

This version of “King Kong” works in ways its predecessors have failed. Still, whether you’re a longtime fan of Kong or this is your first introduction, you’ll have a great time experiencing a refreshing world of adventure, monsters, villains and heroes.

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Erin Frink is a Courier movie reviewer. Reach her at


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