King Kong (2005)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama


King Kong (2005) Poster

A greedy film producer assembles a team of moviemakers and sets out for the infamous Skull Island, where they find more than just cannibalistic natives.


7.2/10
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2 January 2006 | SonOfMoog
7
| Beauty and the Beast
This is a wonderful homage to a wonderful old movie. It doesn't have a lot of its own to commend it, but it really doesn't need anything. It's obvious to anyone who has seen the original that Peter Jackson loves the movie. And, that love helps to carry this remake in its slow and tedious moments. So, King Kong (2005) works for me, and I think it will work for most who see it, especially those who've seen the original.

Some cast comments: Adrien Brody was wonderful as Driscoll. There is a poignant scene in a theater where the triumphant Denham is recounting their jungle adventure. The scene is mostly a closeup of Brody, whose face speaks volumes in response to Denham's delusional account of what happened on Skull Island.

I agree with most who feel that Jack Black was miscast as Denham. He captured the sleazy con man fine, but not the pompous and pretentious auteur. Oh, he tries. He's just not believable as a filmmaker. If he was trying to recollect or channel Orson Welles, it was a pretty feeble attempt. Might have helped, I would think, if we had seen some ersatz footage of Denham from another project.

The real star of this movie is Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow. I read elsewhere that Watts and Jackson went to visit Fay Wray before she died, and Wray's opinion was that, "Ann Darrow is in good hands." I've also heard it said that the 1933 movie was Denham's story, the 1976 remake was the ape's, and Peter Jackson's homage is Ann Darrow's. I agree with these assessments completely.

Watts is radiant, luminous, too beautiful to bear as Ann. I think her best scene occurs near the end of the movie when she realizes that Kong has escaped, and that she has to meet him. Her walk down the street and out of the light to where the ape was wreaking havoc, so deliberate, so determined, so courageous, and self-assured is one of the really great scenes of 2005.

I don't agree with Roger Ebert that KK is one of the best movies of the year. And, I take exception with the significance he attaches to the bonding scene at Kong's lair. But, I like this movie, and it's clear to me that Peter Jackson loves the original. Nicely done.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the scene where Kong causes the crew to fall into the log pit, both Kong and Lumpy are seen together. Both characters are portrayed by Andy Serkis, though Kong in this scene is computer-generated.


Quotes

Manny: That's a funny one. Isn't that funnier?


Goofs

When Jack is rescuing Ann, she has two cuts above her right eyebrow, the smaller cut changes positions and disappears/reappears in different shots.


Crazy Credits

The end credits are set against an art deco backdrop rather than the traditional black screen. The backdrop is an exact replica, in Technicolor, of the same backdrop that was used for the opening credits in the 1933 version of "King Kong".


Alternate Versions

On November 14, 2006, an extended edition DVD was released with 13 minutes of additional scenes edited back into the film. Denham's party is attacked both by a Ceratops immediately upon entering the jungle to rescue Ann and by a giant fish while on rafts on a river, after which they kill a giant bird while firing blindly into the jungle (the longest addition by far). Baxter's rescue of the party is extended and finishes with Jimmy's farewell to Hayes. Kong's pursuit of the party on Skull Island and his pursuit of Driscoll in NYC are slightly extended, and there are two brief additional encounters between Kong and the military in NYC. A complete breakdown is at http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=3550.


Soundtracks

Aboriginal Sacrifice Dance
from the underscore of the
King Kong (1933)
Written by Max Steiner

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Drama | Romance

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