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King Kong

Peter Jackson's epic 2005 remake of King Kong.

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Remember Its Just Entertainment

  • Jan 2, 2006
  • by
Pros: Outstanding acting, directing, and special effects.

Cons: How did they get Kong to New York Anyway?

The Bottom Line: See King Kong, do not wait for the DVD, or cable release, it must be seen on the big screen. I know there are flaws, but, thatÂ’s entertainment.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

Believe it or not I have not watched the original release of King Kong, though I have seen the 1975 release with Jessica Lange and it was rather forgettable. But then came news that Peter Jackson fresh off the phenomenal success of the Lord of The Ring trilogy was remaking the Kong again, and this time with the advances in special effects technology, the film promised to be roller-coaster ride from start to finish.

And on many, many levels Peter Jackson did not disappoint; King Kong (2005) was an action packed 3 hour (and some minutes) ride on the wild side, but there were some holes in the plot-line that are hard to ignore; but more on that later.

Everyone by now is familiar with the plot-line of King Kong, but perhaps a brief recap is in order. It’s the depression and movie producer / director Carl Denham portrayed by Jack Black (The Cable Guy, Shallow Hal, Envy) is trying to make it big, but is having little luck. He has conned playwright Jack Driscoll portrayed by Adrien Brody (The Affair of the Necklace, The Pianist, The Village) into writing the screenplay, for the film, and down on her luck vaudeville actress Ann Darrow, portrayed by Naomi Watts (Dangerous Beauty, Strange Planet, We Don’t Live Here Anymore) to play the lead female role.

There is only one catch, Denham wants to shoot the film on a heretofore undiscovered island called Skull Island. He charters a tramp steamer and sails off into the unknown finds the island, lots of prehistoric animals including dinosaurs, large meat eating insects, wild natives with bones of all sizes and shapes through their faces, and of course King Kong.

From what I’ve read, Jackson is fairly true to the original script in his telling of his tale of the twenty-four foot Blue Back Ape who would be king of all he surveys. The movie unwinds a little slowly at first, but thank plot development for that; it was almost 45 minutes before the first sighing of Kong. But from that first sighting to the closing credits King Kong does not fail to thrill; the action is almost non-stop and the effects are just what we would expect from Peter Jackson. The 2 plus hours seem the melt away after the action started and all too soon the movie was over.

There is of course a (perverted) love triangle of sort going on in the background, between Ann Darrow, Jack Driscoll and well Kong. In this adaptation Darrow and Driscoll become romantically intertwined before they get to the island. Once there Darrow gets kidnapped by Kong and over time becomes (overly) emotionally invested in beast, and when he is capture she appear to blame Driscoll who risked his life to rescue her. Strange, yes?

Naomi Watts turns is her usual stellar performance; eh is truly one of the best actresses working in Hollywood these days. And Jack Black, who knew he could do serious drama, but his performance is very noteworthy. I could always tell when something was about to happen by the expressions on his face. Bravo.

I do have some quibbles with the plot however, and they have to do mainly with how they got Kong back to the ship; how they transported him back to New York; how they kept him alive on the way and how they sedated him. Back in 1933, this sort of glaring omission might have gone unnoticed, but today, no such luck Mr. Jackson. And for a director who pays attention to the details, Jackson’s faux pas is very noteworthy. But of course this is just entertainment, it doesn’t have to make sense in the endgame only entertain, and that this King Kong does.

Final Thoughts

Go see this movie, do not wait for the DVD, or cable release, it must be seen on the big screen. I know there are flaws, but, that’s entertainment.


Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More King Kong (2005 movie) reviews
review by . September 10, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     After finishing his breathe-taking "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy, Peter Jackson realized that he still had the rest of his entire career ahead of him; and he intended to use whatever time he had left. He has, since the "LOTR" films, made but two films; one of them great, one bad. And luckily for me and for you, we're talking about the better film; which is "King Kong". There's a name you may not; or at least, you should know it. It's the name that comes …
review by . December 12, 2010
Stephanie's Favourite Movies: King Kong      If anyone can do grandeur, it's Peter Jackson. I mean, it's the mastermind behind the LOTR films. He is the one that can make a true monster epic for our time, and King Kong is definitely that. Great effects, great acting, great story, just general greatness. Some say that it was too long, I say that you need that much time to tell the story. Some say Adrien Brody isn't hero material. I say that he did just fine.   …
review by . August 23, 2010
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Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 King Kong is exactly how to do a remake. This movie keeps to the spirit of the original, whilst including state of the art special effects and exciting action scenes. Jackson didn't try to add any silly plot twists or change the setting to 2005, but rather set out to remake the original film as it stood. He deserves a lot of credit for resisting the urge to "improve" the basic plot structure and settings of the original King Kong.   …
review by . July 18, 2010
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      KING KONG      I remember watching the original Kong film back in the day and every one that followed and could not help but be entertained by every one although the first was the best. I have always enjoyed Kong films and have only rooted against him when he took on the greatest of all time in Godzilla. So after years of nothing new when this film was announced I was actually excited about it when normally I would be like "oh man they are going …
review by . August 22, 2010
Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 King Kong is exactly how to do a remake. This movie keeps to the spirit of the original, whilst including state of the art special effects and exciting action scenes. Jackson didn't try to add any silly plot twists or change the setting to 2005, but rather set out to remake the original film as it stood. He deserves a lot of credit for resisting the urge to "improve" the basic plot structure and settings of the original King Kong.     The only …
review by . August 19, 2009
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Right after Lord of the Rings became such a smash success at the Box Office and the Academy Awards, Peter Jackson set out to do a film he just about always wanted to do: King Kong.  Peter Jackson talked about how much he enjoyed the film.  And for the most part, King Kong really sounded like a movie Jackson should do.  It could've been a huge epic!  Yeah!  And Peter Jackson does make it an epic.  But when making such an epic where exactly does the line get drawn?  …
review by . July 15, 2009
Peter Jackson's King King is an excellent film.  I was surprised by how well it was made.  The direction, photography, acting and special effects were just fantastic.  I usually have negative opinions of big budget remakes but this one is excellent.  Even Jack Black is good in this film (I an not a fan of his other work) and I'm impressed how Peter Jackson managed to get a very good performance out of him,  Naomi Watts redefines the role of Fay Wray and Adrien Brody …
review by . February 11, 2009
It's the height of the Depression in New York City, and down-on-her-luck actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) accepts movie director Carl Denham's (Jack Black) offer to sail off for an adventure and make a movie. Playwright/screenwriter Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) gets stuck on board and they all sail off for Skull Island, a mysterious place that just happens to be the home of bloodthirsty natives, prehistoric animals, and a 25-foot tall ape called Kong. When the natives kidnap Ann and sacrifice her …
review by . April 29, 2009
This movie was excellent. It borrows a lot from the original with incredible special effects and amazing recreations of 1931 New York! King Kong finally moves like a real gorilla and the destruction that gets wrecked throughout the movie is very convincing! The natives of this movie look like something out of the Exorcist although there was a tribute to the original natives during the scene where Kong is displayed to the New York public at the theater.     There are a lot more …
review by . November 22, 2008
Pretty girl meets monster ape   King Kong has got his charm   In all the most romantic scenes   The girl is on his arm     Naomi's got the strongest arms   She must be doing curls   But Kong has got the safest paws   For catching falling girls     Packed to the brim with CGI   This movie's much too long   Stampeding dinos, "Tremors" worms   Some parts just don't belong …
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #78
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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The extended version of Peter Jackson'sKing Kongadds 13 minutes to the running time--fortunately those 13 minutes include two dynamic action scenes and no material has been added to the movie's belabored set-up, which tries to give depth to these quintessentially b-movie characters with a clumsy patchwork of melodrama and in-jokes. But once movie-maker Carl Denham (Jack Black,School of Rock) and his crew finally arrive at Skull Island, the movie kicks into gear with spectacular action, technical wizardry, and genuine feeling. ThoughKongseems crafted to dazzle the eye on the giant screen, the overlong structure improves when you can take an intermission at will. At home, each scene can be approached on its own terms, be it the insanely choreographed battle between Kong and three T. Rexes or the subtle and multi-layered interplay between Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts,Mulholland Drive) and Kong (played, through motion-capture technology, by Andy Serkis, who previously played the similarly animated Gollum in Jackson'sLord of the Rings). The addition of a rampaging ceratops and an underwater race with what the movie's crew dubbed a "piranhadon" not only add more eye candy, but provide some valuable moments of character development. But in the end, that's frosting on the cake; when the movie's weaknesses and strengths are weighed, the emotional power of the fantastical relationship between a woman and a giant ape is a real cinematic achievement.--Bret ...
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Director: Peter Jackson
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: December 14, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: March 28, 2006
Runtime: 3hr 8min
Studio: Universal Studios, Wingnut Films
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