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King Kong (2005)

King KongFour and a Half Stars

Starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, and Andy Serkis, I won’t spend too much time reviewing the story of King Kong, by now you should know it, and if you don’t, just keep hanging out underneath that rock.

People go to deserted island, find King Kong, capture him, bring him back, show him off in New York City, he escapes his chains in rage for the woman he loves, and climbs the Empire State Building trying to swat down hostile fighter planes, and then plummets to his death.

The story isn’t too different, updated but still set in the early 20th century. Watts does an awesome job of acting on a green screen, never actually seeing a CG Kong. Brody is average, not relatable, and Jack Black, is Jack, you never believe he is anything else, and is probably the only reason I didn’t give this a full five stars. But, he does play a great seedy character, so maybe he was a good cast. Maybe it was Watts (Ann) and her love of a huge monkey.

I have heard that this movie was self indulgent, ran too long, had way too much exteraneous crap, was too much visually, and the story takes way too long to get going. This is what I say to all of these claims.

1) Self Indulgent. Yes, it was. Damn, Peter Jackson just spent possibly a decade of his life on Lord of the Rings. He brought those epic and detailed books to life on screen in a respectful fashion. This man gets to call his next shot, whether it was Garfield 2 or King Kong.

2) Ran too long, too much junk, too visually stimulating, the story spends too much time in New York City. I can’t argue that there was a lot of CG stuff in this movie. If you don’t like that, what the Hell are you doing at this movie? Really? The story is fun, but not a great character story, you should be going to this to see a huge monkey kick dinosaur and military butt and to love a damsel. If you like CG, this won’t run too long for you at all, every moment is a thrill ride. As for too much time in the beginning, well, I would just say I don’t know how I would have cut it down, you have to establish some of Ann’s character and what would make her almost love a huge ape.

The other thing I would say, specifically, is that some people I know didn’t like the Brontosaurus scene. I would say, that if you hold this up to the Jurassic Park movies, Kong takes those to the next level visually. Maybe the dinos toppling was a little silly, but believable and sadistically enjoyable to watch destruction of dino life. These scenes are so much more rich, with more on screen time with the T-Rex and a slew of other dinos that are more atmospheric in the Jurassic Park films. Give me a fight scene between a T-Rex and King Kong, or four of them. Do I think he could actually win that, probably not, he sure could survive a Rex bite without much more than a gash. But I do think that an ape with arms could waste a T-Rex that is practically helpless once on it’s side.

If you can’t tell, I loved this movie. Like I said, don’t go for the best story ever, you know the bill, it is kind of like Titanic, you know what will happen, you want to see how this director gets us there visually with today’s technology. I could watch this a ton of times, I would buy it, and I recommend it to everyone to see at least one, even if you form your own picky negative opinions.

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