By Rose Trafford, Vinton Palace

Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, and John C. Reilly battle Kong in 3D on the Palace big screen in Kong: Skull Island, playing Friday, March 31 through Thursday, April 6 at 7 pm, and Monday, April 3 at 2 pm. The year is 1944. World War II is still raging, and two enemy fighter pilots, American Hank Marlow and Japanese Gunpei Ikari, end up parachuting onto an island in the South Pacific. Hand to hand combat ensues until someone stronger than both of them appears- a gargantuan ape we all know as King Kong.

Fast forward to 1973. With the Vietnam War still going on, the US military hires British Captain James Conrad (Hiddleston) to map out the uncharted Skull Island in the Pacific. He’s escorted by a Vietnam War helicopter squadron, led by Lt. Col. Preston Packard (Jackson). The group is also joined by Mason Weaver (Larson) a pacifist who believes the entire trip is a coverup for a military operation. The group drops explosives developed by a seismologist to cart the terrain of the island, but their plan is soon disrupted by none other than Kong, who begins swiping helicopters out of the air with his bare fists. The survivors are scattered across the island.

The group of survivors makes a plan to explore the island, look for supplies, and meet again in three days. One of the survivors admits that he is working for a secret government operation aiming to prove the existence of monsters and determine their threat to humanity. During their exploration they discover native people, along with the American pilot Hank Marlow (Reilly). Marlow tells them that the island worships Kong, and he is the last ape of his kind. He also tells them about the Skull Crawlers, lizard like monsters that also dwell there. Because the group is still not completely united yet, Packard insists on finding them. In reality, he wants to find and kill Kong. As the inevitable battle unfolds, the audience is left wondering who is on which side of the fight, and if the main characters will be able to leave the island alive.

The design of the creature Kong in Kong: Skull Island is heavily influenced by the original 1933 film. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts said, “If anything, our Kong is meant to be a throwback to the ’33 version. [Kong] was a movie monster, so we worked really hard to take some of the elements of the ’33 version[…] We created something that to some degree served as a throwback to the inspiration for what started all of this, but then also [had] it be a fully unique and different creature that — I would like to think — is fully contained and identifiable as the 2017 version of King Kong.”

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