Kong: Skull Island 3D 1.0 stars

Kong: Skull Island 3D movie poster

The latest Kong borrows at least a couple of pages from the script of the latest Godzilla (unsurprising, since Max Borenstein co-wrote both) — notably, the jacking up of the big ape’s size to truly gargantuan (though he does seem to grow and shrink a bit according to the demands of the scene), and the pitting of monster against monster, with people mostly serving as not-so-innocent bystanders. Plus the notion of monster as humanity’s benevolent protector, in spite of that status as not-so-innocent. The results are similarly middling. These critters are cuddly gods, demanding no sacrifice and forgiving all sins — though sometimes after a flare-up of temper. It’s fun to watch them in action, but on the human side, the film is clumsily written, over-cast and underacted, with only frustrated soldier Samuel L. Jackson striking the right tone of crazy amid the chaos. (John Goodman sounds bored as an intrepid scientist, while Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston are reduced to tight-shirted eye candy as a combat photographer and secretly sensitive tracker, respectively.) Besides the godlike gorilla, the real star seems to be ‘70’s technology, as director Jordan Vogt-Roberts lavishes loving attention on slide projectors, walkie-talkies, reel-to-reel players, manually adjusted cameras, and bucket-of-bolts transportation. Just don’t ask yourself who is holding the Super 8 during the final scene. 2017.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, March 27

10:45am, 1:35pm, 4:25pm, 10:10pm

Tuesday, March 28

10:45am, 1:35pm, 4:25pm, 10:10pm

Wednesday, March 29

10:45am, 1:35pm, 4:25pm, 10:10pm

AMC La Jolla

8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Sunday, March 26

10:40pm

Monday, March 27

1:45pm, 6:30pm, 10:05pm

Tuesday, March 28

1:00pm, 6:30pm, 10:05pm

Wednesday, March 29

1:45pm, 6:30pm, 10:05pm

AMC Mission Valley

1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, March 27

2:20pm, 5:20pm

AMC Palm Promenade

770 Dennery Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Sunday, March 26

11:05pm

Monday, March 27

6:15pm, 9:20pm

Tuesday, March 28

6:15pm, 9:20pm

Wednesday, March 29

9:20pm

AMC Plaza Bonita

3050 Plaza Bonita Road, National City, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, March 27

12:45pm, 3:45pm, 7:00pm

Tuesday, March 28

12:45pm, 3:45pm, 7:00pm

Wednesday, March 29

12:45pm, 3:45pm, 7:00pm

Regal Escondido

350 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, 760-291-0119 | Directions

Sunday, March 26

10:40pm

Monday, March 27

12:45pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm, 10:40pm

Tuesday, March 28

12:45pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm, 10:40pm

Wednesday, March 29

12:45pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm, 10:40pm

Thursday, March 30

12:45pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm, 10:40pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Monday, March 27

12:00pm, 3:00pm

Tuesday, March 28

12:00pm, 3:00pm

Wednesday, March 29

12:00pm, 3:00pm

Thursday, March 30

12:00pm, 3:00pm

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