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King Kong 2005

 

The Diva's review of
King Kong (2005)

 

kingkong Rated PG-13; running time of 3 hours and 7 minutes
Genre: Action
Written by: Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson, based on the story by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Cast: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell, Kyle Chandler, Thomas Kretschmann

WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.

– Seriously. I’m assuming that some time over the last 72 years you’ve managed to catch the original. And if you haven’t seen the entire movie, you know how it ends.

The Digest

It’s 1933 and the country is still in middle of The Great Depression. Like most actresses of her day Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) is struggling to eat more than evr other day, let alone find a secure gig. She is almost desperate enough to join a risqué burlesque show. After deciding against, she has a chance run in with. Filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black). Carl determined to make a film that is true to “His VISION” is in a pickle. It would seem that his financial backers, no longer want to support his film and his actress has decided not to participate. He has about 2 hours to secure an actress who can wear a size 4; get his screen writer, Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) to re-write the story; and board the Venture and shove off.

After greasing the palm of the captain, Engelhorn (Thomas Kretschmann), they sail away with a minute to spare. Also onboard is the self-centered wannabe heartthrob actor, Bruce Baxter (Kyle Chandler), who is eyeing Ann to be his love interest on and off screen. But Ann has other plans. She has been attracted to the man behind her favorite plays, before she ever met him and now Jack is here and she is letting her crush flourish, by the end of the voyage, they are smitten with each other. But a voyage to where? They soon find out that they are on their way to Skull Island. They believe it is an island of untold treasures and largely uninhabited – boy are they wrong.

The perception of it being uninhabited is for the better as they soon find out because the minute they step foot on the Island the natives capture the blond Anne and server her up as a sacrifice to what turns out to be a 25-foot tall gorilla who is called Kong.

With Anne stolen away, the crew try to navigate the Island to find and rescue her – all the while Carl is filming everything “in memory” of those killed along the way, of course. What they soon discover is that this Island is pretty much the Island that time forgot. giant Flora and even bigger Fauna. As if a giant Ape weren’t enough, dinosaurs roam freely and aggressively along with big nasty bats and bugs. This isn’t the only challenge. Kong and Anne have bonded. She does tricks and makes him laugh and he constantly protects her. They have forged a relationship that works for them.

They eventually rescue Anne and in the process they capture Kong. They drag him back to New York, but how do you contain a 25 foot animal who is used to being the King of his jungle? They answer is that you can’t and this leads to the tragic ending on top of the Empire State Building that has been etched into the pop culture section of our brains.

The Dish

I think what I took away from this movie is the complex simplicity of the relationship between Kong and Anne. In 24 short hours they are parties to something akin to The Stockholm Syndrome - the situation where the captive falls in love with the captor. Anne‘s life depended on King Kong, and at some point his existence depended upon her. I have theories on why she survived as no others before her had. Firstly, I read somewhere that gorillas are herbivores, so I’m assuming that he didn’t eat the previous sacrifices. I think the other victims just screamed and did nothing until h accidentally killed them. I think he was just a little rough with them. Maybe this is me romanticizing him, maybe not. I think Anne made it further because she was not willing to lay down and take it. She gave it back to him tit for tat and she amused him. It’s that simple, but yet complex because she’s human and well… he’s not. Peter Jackson and his crew worked very hard to humanize Kong and it worked. Who wasn’t concerned about Kong? Who did not lament his fate? I know I sure wanted to jump through the screen and free him myself.

And the special effects! I almost wept with joy. Y’all know how am about Special effects. They are the reason I live for Summer movies and to get this little gem in December?! I was in hog heaven.

Kudos go to the entire cast. Naomi is a wonderful successor to Ms. Fay Wray. Jack Black was inspired casting, as was Adrien Brody. Brody, not who one would consider a heartthrob, easily fits into the shoes of knight in shining armor. Jack Black is so misguided hat I almost cringed every time he opened his mouth.

And Peter Jackson? “Your Stock is rising Number 2” Seriously he is really close to dethroning King George Lucas in over laden special effects category. I don’t consider this category a bad thing, while some film purists might, I’m not one of those folks.

My complaints are few- the “bat hang-gliding”; Anne 1200 feet up in the air during a New York winter with no coat on…. But my chief complaint is the length. I think I could have done with less background and shaved off 20-30 minutes - no problem. Oh and a good bathroom break is 90 minutes in, but make it quick. After Kong takes Anne, you have maybe 4 minutes where you won’t miss much.

The Directive

This movie is a little scary for the little ones. It’s PG-13 for a reason. Besides, I don’t know of any children who can sit still for over 3 hours.


 

 

Green light

 

King of the box office, without a doubt.


Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2005
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