Saturday, December 31, 2005

King Kong Review

After creating what I consider to be the greatest film ever made, Peter Jackson is back with his remake of the giant monkey movie. King Kong, like The Lord of the Rings films, is a 3 hour epic that carries amazing special effects, excellent performances, and a moving story.

Set during 1933, King Kong follows a group of film makers lead by Carl Denham (Jack Black). In an effort to create his epic film that studio executives are trying to shut down, he flees with his crew and a quickly cast actress, Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) aboard a run down cargo ship in search of Skull Island. Carl, following an old map he conviently possesses, wants to use this ancient and primative location to finish his film and show the world something they've never seen before.

Once there, the natives capture Ann and offer her as a sacrifice to Kong (Andy Serkis). A team, led by screen writer and Ann's new romantic interest Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody), ventures into Skull Island in an attempt to rescue her.

King Kong's special effects are created by Weta Digital, the same company responsible for the amazing effects featured in The Lord of the Rings. Kong and all the other CG creatures and environments are as real as anything ever seen on screen, and are a further testament to the limitless possibilities of filmmaking.

The story behind King Kong is also very touching, as Ann and Kong form a bond with one another through their adventures on Skull Island and beyond. The musical score nicely accents all the emotional undertones, and in the end you really feel sad for the giant ape that no one else is able to understand.

As previously mentioned, the film weighs in at roughly 3 hours, and while the time didn't bother me personally, many peers have expressed criticism with the first hour, feeling that roughly half of it could have been trimmed down. While I don't necessarily agree with them, a trim-down wouldn't have hurt the film none-the-less.

One of King Kong's weak points is in certain aspects of the story's plausability. Now, of course King Kong is an adventure/fantasy tale and gigantic monkeys, etc. don't exist, but there were still certain aspects of the film that were far-fetched, such as when a crew member uses a Thompson to shoot off giant bugs from Jack without hitting him. While the main story and the emotional ties the audience will feel is really the bond between Kong and Ann, instances like the above do take away from the film.

Overall, however, King Kong is another great Peter Jackson epic that delivers an entertaining show, and an excellent remake of a Hollywood classic. Certainly one of the stronger films released in 2005, it is quality work like this that give me hope for Jackson's involvement in the upcoming Halo film.

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