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I don't know what it was, but despite the rave reviews from critics, and my own personal excitement to see Peter Jackson's directorial follow-up to his epic masterpiece LotR trilogy, King Kong just didn't seem to click for me. The remake of the 1933 original follows a giant ape taken into captivity and brought to New York City where he escapes and raises hell, the subplot being the ape's relationship with a beautiful young woman which is ultimately the hairy brute's hemartia. The remake rides a roller coaster wave of inconsistency throughout, approaching some incredible highs and then moments later dropping to eye rolling lows. The first thing one might say coming out of King Kong is, "why on earth did that need to be three hours long? ". Honestly I have no idea, the plot is simple enough to keep it at a tidy hour and a half, but Jackson, no doubt spoiled by his LotR experience stretches the story to breaking point. The first hour and a bit of the film is the worst, we are given the background on the main characters and an introduction to the story and setting of New York, followed by a sea voyage to Skull Island. Who knows how or why this introduction got to be an hour long, but I was nodding my head and glancing at my watch. I definitely understood the purpose behind it, character development is essential in a story like that in King Kong, but the filmmakers don't achieve enough development in the time they take to do it, which drags the pace of the movie way down. However when we get to Skull Island, the movie takes a great turn for the better. We meet the terrifying natives of Skull Island, which are an inspired piece of creativity, and the action starts as Anne (Naomi Watts) is captured and offered to the beast, Kong. The next hour follows the rescue party trying to get Anne back and the obstacles they overcome, including dinosaurs and some enormous horrific bugs. While Anne is kept busy by Kong, where she and Kong eventually develop some kind of emotional bond. Which is a little depressing considering a 25 foot monkey can do better with the ladies than I can. Okay back to business... the bond between Kong and Anne is placed front and center for the rest of the film, and drastically overplayed by Naomi Watts. I understand the difficulty of the nature of the situation she's in as an actor, but she was doing things that were completely ridiculous. And rather than achieve an underlying emotional subplot for the movie, it just makes the audience laugh at her. This is where the roller coaster really takes off, flying to great heights during stunning action sequences, then crashing hard during the supposed "quiet moments". Unnecessairly long story short, the movie crew captures Kong, takes him to New York, he escapes, raises hell, grabs Anne and hauls his big hairy ass to the top of the Empire State building where airplanes gun him down. Visually everything is spectacular, and Jackson again raises the bar for other action epics, but the real meat and bones of the movie are missing. The characters are dull and lifeless, and the relationship between Anne and Kong that is so vital for the last part of the film, is not done properly. Although my review here may be mostly negative, I cannot overlook the positives. The film is a visual marvel, Kong looks flawless, the New York skyline is breathaking, and the action is top notch. There are some very original things and great decisions directorially by Peter Jackson, but ultimately all the positive little things about the film can't make up for a lacking big picture.
|7/10||the_crazycanuck@ - 37 reviews|
18.12.2005 - age: 13-17
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