It's 1973, right at the end of the Vietnam War. An expedition is organized by Bill Randa (John Goodman) to explore a recently discovered island in the South Pacific. From the satellite imaging it looks like a skull. Randa believes that they'll find some giant animals from Earth's past. Among the crew are James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), a British soldier doing it for money, Preston Packard (Samuel L Jackson), who leads the American soldiers, and Mason Weaver (Brie Larson), a former war photographer. They arrive to the vicinity of the island by ship, then take a dozen helicopters in, first having to fly through the perpetual storm that surrounds it.
They all make it through and start exploding bombs in order to map the landmass of the island. Almost immediately helicopters are knocked out of the sky by flying palm trees-and Kong makes his appearance. He's huge. All the helicopters are destroyed or crashed and the survivors have to make it to the North end of the island for a rendezvous with their ship. Along the way they meet the natives-and Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), a soldier who had crashed there during WWII. He explains that Kong is the protector of the island and keeps the underground monsters from killing everything. These same creatures had killed Kong's parents years before. The bombs the soldiers exploded has shaken them up and now Kong is extra busy. But Packard, a hardened soldier, wants revenge for his men that Kong killed and goes out of his way to set a trap for the gigantic ape. It doesn't quite go as planned. Meanwhile, another group of survivors try to stop Packard and help Kong.
KONG is an extremely entertaining movie that presents the horror icon in a great way, as a sort of "hero" that protects the planet from a vicious threat. It's not as emotional as Peter Jackson's remake of the original-and is a completely different story, with a different Kong, but as a giant-monster movie it works extremely well and I can see a whole slew of sequels, which the producers clearly intend. Highly recommended.