King Kong (2005) — movie review — screener!
Posted on December 12, 2005 by Kris Nelson
Come see costars get clobbered while the main characters defy gravity and all physics in Peter Jackson’s rendition epic of King Kong! Why, they survive a stampede and avalanche of not one, not two, but a bunch of brontosaurii, not to mention a swarm of freakishly giant lampreys and insects! Naomi Watts as breathless doe-caught-in-headlights Ann Darrow even lets giant centipede antennae probe her tonsils in some gross post-production humor, not hentai. Witness Colin Hanks turn into a young Dan Aykroyd! Watch Adrien Brody as the bravely stupid (or is that stupidly brave?) Jack Driscoll, the playwright turned screenwriter who wins Ann’s human heart (before she meets the gargantuan gorilla) and repeatedly rescues her.
And why not? Humans are so keen on themselves that only they would make a movie depicting themselves in the highest regard. Carl Denham (Jack Black), a man unnerved by the slaughter of seventeen men while filming, even announces something like: “don’t worry I’m someone you can trust… I’m a movie producer”. And yet this film is entirely built around man’s follies, the Man as Beast. It is Man who destroys nature by pollution and poaching; procures extinction of other creatures. It is Man who cannot bear to let his pride be rattled by nor share existence with other animals, including other humans. Modern Man, the sole species the mighty King Kong was afraid of… and he had knocked out a cloud of killer bats and a tag-team of carnivorous dinosaurs! Island “savages” chose to worship Kong, whereas so-called “civilized” man allowed avarice to steer them, allow consumerism to consume them. Don’t look so smug.. you’re no different if you’re ready to plunk down $10 to see this movie.
Well, please do because someone has to repay these special effects artists for doing a magnificent job, from the ferocious fight scenes right down to the fuzzy down of King Kong’s fur sitting poetically in the sunset. (And it could just be a yen for foreshadowing, but I swear the background bridge support trusses formed repetitive K’s). Peter Jackson invited Andy Serkis (previously LotR’s Gollum) to emote and mime out the jumbo primate, which is perfection. There’s a playful, juvenile yet maternal Koko-esque quality to the Kong; you’ll love it when he hams it up with ex-Vaudeville Ann and when he discovers ice skating for the first time. But don’t forget to bring tissues because Jackson wants to give tear-manipulator (and new official employee of Paramount) Spielberg a run for his money. Although with Spielberg you’ll be spared the cheesy one-liners after particularly miserable moments.
While I josh, it is only because Peter Jackson brings out the frivolity and joviality of motion picture relationships. Even though he has produced arguably some of the most serious dramas of the new Millennium, audiences will walk away remembering his comic caricatures and comaraderie. He has a magic sense portrayal of friendship that far exceeds love and romance. This is why his style worked for the Hobbits and why it works for King Kong.
King Kong opens in theatres December 14th.
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