*Kong: Skull Island* came out last spring and [made over $500 million worldwide](http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=legendary2016.htm). For whatever reason though it didn\u2019t seem to make much of a dent in pop culture. Critical responses varied and there really wasn\u2019t that much talk about its impact, its place among Kong movies, or even (as with most adventure or action projects these days) its potential to spawn or connect to a franchise. The film simply came and went like so many other spring popcorn flicks. \r\n\r\nCompare this to past Kong projects and it does start to seem a little bit bizarre. The 1933 film, while almost comically dated at this point, is something of a classic, and in its own way set the tone for a certain kind of monster movie. The 2005 movie had the benefit of being directed by Peter Jackson fresh off his *Lord Of The Rings* trilogy, and made a more lasting cultural impact. Naomi Watts became the modern image of the human side of the story (the Jane to Kong\u2019s Tarzan), and [when the hero appeared again](http://www.casinosource.co.uk/blog/top-movies-featured-in-slot-games-612300) in an online slot reel (since called one of the best movies featured in a slot game), the animation looked to be based on the 2005 version. Simply put, the movie had some degree of staying power, even if it wasn\u2019t perfect. \r\n\r\nBy contrast, *Kong: Skull Island* feels forgotten a year after its release. There\u2019s a reasonable chance that even a lot of legitimate film fans wouldn\u2019t now be able to name an actor who appeared in the film. However, it finally seemed to resurface a little bit given its Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects. People are now talking again about [the special effects behind the film](http://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/kong-skull-island-visual-effects-interview/), particularly because it happened to involve by *far* the biggest version of the legendary giant ape we\u2019d ever seen on the big screen. The nomination was certainly deserved, and I for one would hope that it brings a little bit of attention back to the film. \r\n\r\nWhile it didn\u2019t address anything of philosophical or dramatic significance beyond the well-established tropes of past Kong movies, *Kong: Skull Island* provided arguably the most gripping version of the human journey to a forgotten island of evolutionary wonders. In past efforts, particularly once you know the story, it can feel as if you\u2019re simply waiting for the ape to be captured, or for some other climactic moment; in *Kong: Skull Island* you can more easily get wrapped up in the journey, and feel the terrors of the island in a way that\u2019s both exhilarating and creepy. \r\n\r\nTom Hiddleston and Brie Larson starred as arguably the best duo of humans to deal with the Kong monster on the big screen, and both did a wonderful job. Hiddleston frankly seems made for the blend of scientific sophistication and ruggedness necessary in a Skull Island explorer, and Larson manages to convey a blend of fear and bravery like few other young actresses working today. Throw in John C. Reilly as a long-lost pilot stranded on the island and friendly with the natives, and you\u2019ve got a very enjoyable cast. Reilly did about the best comic relief work of anyone on screen in 2017. \r\n\r\nIt\u2019s not a perfect film by any means. It\u2019s as predictable as you might expect, and those who are simply tired of big budged special effects films might find bits of it tiresome. As escapism, however, and even as a sort of homage to the Kong legend, it\u2019s a film worth going back to.