Whether you like her or you don’t, you can’t deny that Brie Larson delivers at the box office. Okay, maybe in this instance it isn’t exactly her that’s the draw but her large, hairy co-star. Regardless of who’s bringing in the views, the film is growing on HBO Max as it sits at #8.
Kong: Skull Island stars Brie Larson as photojournalist Mason Weaver but before we even get to her, we get the Skull Island set-up.
The time is 1944 and World War II is raging. Two fighter pilots — an American Hank Marlow and a Japanese Gunpei Ikari — bail their planes and parachute down onto an island in the Pacific. When they land, they immediately engage in lethal combat. Ikari gains the upper hand in the fight, almost finishing Marlow, until the two are interrupted by the giant ape we’ve come to love.
Fast-forward nearly 30 years and we find Bill Randa (John Goodman), the head of the government-run Monarch, trying to get the necessary funds and crew to get to Skull Island: a place where Randa theorizes there are primeval creatures. Along with his partner in crime, Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), he feels Skull Island is the entry to Hollow Earth, where creatures from another time make their home.
After initially getting rebuffed, Randa finally convinces his superiors to fund his trip. He puts together a team led by U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson) and his group of soldiers. Brie Larson’s character comes along for the ride to help map the island. But to help track down the creatures, Randa needs an expert tracker. Enter James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston).
Things don’t look good initially for the group as they try to find Skull Island. The island is surrounded by a layer of clouds with an atmosphere that causes the helicopters to react poorly. As the clouds lift, the copters break through to an amazing sight. Skull Island in its glory.
For a moment, things seem peaceful, and the group won’t have any issue landing and setting up shop. But that moment is brief as they are then greeted by something so large that it is hard to fathom. King Kong. And Kong is not a happy camper.
Kong proceeds to do major damage to each and every helicopter, killing just about the entire group. The survivors unfortunately are split and not close to each other. With everyone split up, Packard’s group immediately goes on the hunt for the surviving transport helicopter as it carries weapons in it that Packard plans to use to kill Kong. All the while, Brie Larson’s character keeps snapping shots of the fantastic site.
As the groups make their way to a possible rescue site, they realize that Kong is not the only creature on Skull Island. The island is also home to Skullcrawlers, reptilian creatures who are responsible for killing all of Kong’s species.
Conrad’s group comes in contact with local natives and with them, an older Marlow (a very funny John C. Reilly), who not only survived his fight with Ikari but managed to survive by befriending the natives and avoiding being eaten.
Marlow details Kong’s history with the Skullcrawlers as Brie Larson’s character takes picture of his native companions. Marlow tells the group that he and Ikari eventually became friends, first to survive, then in true form. He also offers a way off the island for the group. Apparently, he and Ikari began to build a boat they made with all the parts from their downed planes.
But this story is about Kong, who wants nothing more than to protect his island. He sees the humans as his enemy as well as the Skullcrawlers, who continue to hunt down the island’s king.
Who survives Skull Island? While there are a number of big names on the screen, the only one fans should truly care about is Kong, right?
Like the eponymous beast, Kong: Skull Island is a big movie. To bring Kong to life, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts was given a $185 million budget, one he put to good use. The script was written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, and Derek Connolly. Together the cast and crew’s hard work was rewarded with nearly $567 million at the box office.
Brie Larson took on the role of Mason Weaver as a tribute. She explained via Entertainment Weekly why she decided to take the role, stating, “I make movies as a form of activism,” she wrote. “I believe we learn from what we see in our leaders. I’m proud to play Mason Weaver in @kongskullislandmovie because she represents the many journalists who risk their lives everyday to share with us the truth. Weaver leads with compassion and believes that unity cannot be obtained through aggression. I’m excited to share this film with you. And in the meanwhile I’m thrilled to have this platform as a way to connect us. Let’s work together. Let’s be open to learning from each other.”
Before 2015, Brianne Desaulniers aka Brie Larson was building herself a nice resume. She was in the short-lived TV series Raising Dad while also finding time on series such as Hope & Faith, Ghost Whisperer, The Burg, and United States of Tara.
Her first big break came in the feature Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. She then saw more time on features like 21 Jump Street, Don Jon, and Trainwreck before she hit it out of the park with her next feature.
For Room, Brie Larson took home the Academy Award for Best Actress. The story tells of a woman (Larson) who’s being held in captivity in a shed. She was abducted seven years prior by a man who routinely rapes her. She has a five-year-old son, for whose sake she battles her trauma.
That win opened Hollywood’s eyes which led Brie Larson to the biggest role of her career: Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel was a massive hit, bringing in over $1.1 billion at the box office.
Brie Larson would once again don Captain Marvel colors in Avengers: Endgame, this time arriving just in time to help take down Thanos (Josh Brolin). After her brief role in Endgame, Larson would appear in the legal thriller, Just Mercy, opposite Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.
Up next for Brie Larson is her return to the MCU in The Marvels, where this time she will team up with Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). Samuel L. Jackson will also be on board as Nick Fury.You can see Brie Larson in Kong: Skull Island on HBO Max.