Confession time: I’ve never been a fan of King Kong movies. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy some of the older ones . . . but I didn’t feel any dedication to or passion for the overall franchise. So I was kind of like “whatever” when I went into Kong: Skull Island. In other words, my expectations were low.

But guess what? I loved it. It’s a ton of fun — everything a summer movie should be.

First it has a this-could-never-happen-in-real-life premise (because summer is all about escapism!) Bill Randa (John Goodman) is a conspiracy theorist of sorts who works for the mysterious governmental organization Monarch. His group recently uncovered satellite images of a never-seen-before island, and Randa has a hunch that something (figuratively) big was out there. He had no idea his group would find something that was literally big — no, gigantic.

He’s joined on his quest by several others, including former British special forces agent James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), and Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), an anti-war photographer.

Next come the effects. Kong is simply amazing and looks 100% real. But he’s not the only monster around — in fact, one of the coolest parts about the movie is just how many other incredible creatures there are on what comes to be known as “Skull Island.” If another franchise hadn’t already claimed the term, I would’ve called them “fantastic beasts.”

Explosions? Check. LOTS of explosions? Check, check, check. Jump-outta-your-seat moments? Check. Funny one-liners? Check. Groovy soundtrack? Check. And on top of all of that, a great cast. Do they have to utter some lame dialogue at times? It wouldn’t be a summer blockbuster without it!

This was the first big-budget film directed by acclaimed indie-director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer), and he did not disappoint. Consider me an official King Kong franchise fan now, because I can’t wait for the next one. (Which, yes, has already been planned for 2020 and is entitled Godzilla vs. Kong.)

Become a King Kong fan today and get Kong: Skull Island at the Box.

By: Redbox Writer, Erika Olson