Ask John Goodman why he chose to act in director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' latest film and he'll give you a simple answer: "King Kong."
But Kong: Skull Island (in theatres March 10) isn't your average monster movie, nor is it a standard take on the classic character, which last graced the screen in Peter Jackson's 2005 reboot.
Set during the tail end of the Vietnam War, the film follows a group of scientists (led by seedy government official Bill Randa, played by Goodman) and war-ravaged soldiers, as well as a young photojournalist, who venture to an uncharted island and discover a host of undiscovered creatures. It soon becomes clear that half the crew are there to secretly destroy them.
But Kong: Skull Island, for all its special effects and star-studded cast — including Oscar-winner Brie Larson, former nominees Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly, and a host of up-and-comers (Straight Outta Compton's Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins) — has a politically charged, environmentally friendly message, with much of the movie's turmoil mirroring our own unsettling times.
"I think the arrogance of man and our assumption that we run this planet and control this planet is incredibly relevant," director Vogt-Roberts says. "We don't have all the answers, even though we want to think that we do. I think that a big part of the movie, for me, is about becoming okay with the unknown and becoming okay with the fact that there are forces greater than us."
Goodman is far more blunt when talking about the film's deeper meaning. "It just says a lot about [the fact that] maybe we should mind our own business," he says. "If you want to conquer something, conquer your own fears."