In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
The biggest criticism I hear about King Kong is that it’s too long. It’s running time of over three hours is too much to stomach for many but personally I can’t get enough of it. As soon as the film finished, I wanted to watch it again, I couldn’t care less if it was six hours long.
I loved the first hour where we set up the story for the film. I enjoyed the setting of the 1930′s New York that Jackson created and it had a great nostalgia feel for movies made in the 1930′s rather than a real life 1930′s. I couldn’t get enough of Jack Black’s energy as the eccentric director Carl Denham, reminding me (and nearly every critic who has talked about the movie) of the great Orson Welles. Black is a wonderful actor with terrific range that is sometimes harshly pigeon-holed.
The second hour is probably the most enjoyable sixty mintues I had in theatres last year as spectactular action set pieces with extraordinary special effects kept building and building. We see man-eating worms, huge insects and spiders that eat people in a creepy and gross out scene which I thought was great. Again, that’s why I go to the cinema to feel something and for a movie to fuck with my emotions and in that scene I felt creeped out and disgusted!! Fantastic!
And of course we get to see the Gorilla go one-on-one with a T-Rex. Geek heaven. I felt like I was a kid again back watching Jurassic Park (the first movie I saw in theatres) and been in awe of these creatures that were larger than life before my eyes. I had a huge dinosaur toy after seeing Spielberg’s film and I would terroise my Star Trek figures or my army soliders with them and would act out huge battles in my head where the dinosaur would go up aganist a gorrila, aliens or even the Millenium Falcon!!!
The third act has a great sense of inevitability and sadness. We all know the story of Kong, we know how it’s going to finish with the fall from the Empire State Building. We know it’s going to be the human bi-planes that defeat the ape who is only trying to protect Anne.
I do have a couple of problems with the film though, I didn’t really get the character of Adrien Brody. He is one of the most pathetic leads I think I’ve ever seen for a movie, not because it was a bad performance from the actor but because his part was severly under developed and bland. Colin Hanks’ character too was a mystery to me.
The special effects on maybe three or four occassions look a bit out of place, but that’s a small problem with what is a stunning movie to watch. I didn’t like the scene where Anne and Kong are skating in New York towards the end of the movie, I felt like we were being forced into feeling an emotion that we already had. We already care about the bond between the two, we didn’t need to see this extra scene of them skating.
My girlfriend and I saw this the opening night at a local small cinema near us last year. We sat on the very first row, we wanted to be the first people in the cinema to take in the images before anybody else. I don’t know if anybody else in the cinema got bored or restless when watching the movie because they were all behind us and who cares if they did? The 3 hours flew by like 3 minutes for me.
I will stop now because this post is getting as long as the movie itself. The reason why this movie is so low on this list is because I haven’t seen it enough times to be truly familar with it. I’ve only seen it twice and there is so much to take in, I’m not fully comfortable with it yet. Much like Lord of the Rings did for me, this movie will eventually no doubt end up being much much higher. Give it another two years and a couple more viewings and this will be in my top 20 at least, no question.
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