My DD214

Veterans should be a thing of the past.

Movie Review: King Kong

King Kong is going to bomb hard. It’s a well thought-out, well-acted, moderately paced drama that happens to end up being a totally plausible love story between a 25-foot-tall gorilla and the hot girl from The Ring. Thus, the biplane-smashing antics of the title character will manage to alienate the 40-year-old spinsters who would be attracted by a Depression-era love story and the (admittedly overlong) dramatic buildups will bore the 12-year-old boys and Comic Book Guy-esque 20-year-old males (i.e. us) upon whom Hollywood rests its financial chips when it puts out an action film. In short, King Kong is the new Ishtar.

But don’t think for a second that I didn’t love it.

I can go on forever about the things that just clicked for me: the lavish CG recreation of 1930s New York, the riveting action scenes that wallpaper the final two acts of the film, the multi-tiered character that Jack Black enthusiastically (and quite competently) portrays. There are a handful of action set pieces that are among the best I’ve ever seen in an action movie. And although the film makes liberal use of CG, its implementation is so deft that you’ll never notice.

There are some legitimate criticisms to make, foremost of them the fact that the first act lasts for nearly an hour. Peter Jackson sets the stage for his characters slowly and confidently. I personally thought that the high level of character development was refreshing for a movie of this genre, but I can understand that not everyone will agree. Even I would have cut twenty minutes out of it and brought Kong into the picture a little sooner.

There’s also a couple of secondary storylines that get very short thrift and no real resolution. One can imagine that (much in the style of his Lord of the Rings films) Jackson has shot a six-hour movie and has had to leave much of his film on the cutting room floor. We’ll know when the DVD comes out.

The other criticism is a nitpick to be sure: perhaps in order to parry what some have called the “inherent racism of King Kong‘s premise”, Jackson’s cast is absurdly diverse. The crew of the ship that carries the protagonists to Skull Island comes in every shape and color, including a Chinese man, a Maori (?!) and an African-American first mate. Keeping in mind that this is a period piece set in 1930, the ethnic diversity requires almost as much suspension of disbelief as the giant monsters who appear later.

All in all though, I can’t more highly recommend this film guys. Fernando seal of approval.

21 December, 2005 11:32 PM - Posted by | Movie reviews, Reviews

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: