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. Its 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 Dont 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 Ive 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, Jacksons faux pas is very noteworthy. But of course this is just entertainment, it doesnt have to make sense in the endgame only entertain, and that this King Kong does.
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, thats entertainment.
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older
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