Director: Peter Jackson
I remember watching this movie in the theatre in 2005, and shortly after buying the DVD. At the time, it struck me as a great monster movie remake, a solid representation of the old style, a Hollywood blockbuster that kept its early Hollywood roots. The special effects were impressive in the theatre, the action intense, the characters well-crafted representations, and the ape himself not forced to be illogically human. But I don’t think I once picked the disc out of my collection, or even thought about how the movie might hold up, completely forgetting how much I had liked it & should probably watch it again. Turns out, after 10 years, King Kong does not hold up at all. I have the opposite opinion of almost every aspect of the film, compared to what I thought about it in the theatre, and I’m almost sorry that I ever sat down to view it again.
New York City, 1933, the heart of the Great Depression. Men and woman fought to survive, did what work they could, and never knew from where their next meal would come. For Ann Darrow, a struggling actress and vaudeville comedienne, doing whatever it took almost meant burlesque shows, until the moment Carl Denham walked into her life. He promised her the lead role in a new film, the only catch being she had to leave with the crew that very night, on a ship headed to a mysterious island where Denham would shoot his new epic Amazonian masterpiece. But waiting on the island for Ann was something she never dreamed of, a monster who would claim her as his own, a love that would stop at nothing to save her, and the dark hearts of greedy men who see every chance encounter as a means to an end.
The problems I had with this movie are almost too many to count. Jack Black as the lead character really never worked, as, sorry, he’s not that great an actor, we just kinda love him for some reason. Naomi Watts as the leading lady didn’t work either, since she hardly said a word, letting her front teeth get all the screen time. Really, not to be super insulting, but she kept her mouth open the whole movie, looking either surprised or sad, her teeth taking center stage. And oh my god, the side actors: Colin Hanks was abysmal and Jamie Bell was laughably over-dramatic. Adrien Brody and Kyle Chandler were actually both strong, but they couldn’t make up for a movie that quickly felt like a very bad Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan ripoff. And lastly, the CGI was pitiful. On DVD, every scene looked as sharp as your local weatherman standing in front of a green screen. Unbelievable action sequences, bad acting, and worse graphics; I would rate this movie a 2-star flick if I hadn’t thought so highly of it a few years ago. So I’ll compromise, give it a 3, and probably not watch it again.
My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆