King Kong

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King Kong
Review (9/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Carl Denham (Jack Black) is a struggling filmmaker who is dead set on completing his romantic adventure movie, which the studio has renounced. Nevertheless, Denham loads up a ship with a starving actress named Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), a New York playwright named Jack Driscoll (Adrian Brody), a handful of associates, actors and the ship's crew and they all head off to a to a forbidden location named Skull Island. All hell breaks loose when they get to the island and discover some restless natives, dinosaurs, giant insects and worst of all, a 25-foot gorilla. The natives kidnap Ann and offer her as a sacrifice to the giant ape however, the ape falls in love with Darrow, and she also grows attached to Kong. Somehow, Denham and the ship's crew manage to capture Kong and ship him back to New York and attempt to turn him into a Broadway play but once in the Big Apple, Kong manages to take a big bite out of the city and escapes captivity, meets up with the love of his life, rips apart the streets of New York and climbs the Empire State Building.

King King is surely one of the most anticipated movies of 2005 and Peter Jackson and his cast and crew have not disappointed in what they have brought us to the big screen. Despite the movie's nearly three-hour running time, there is rarely a moment where you will not be at the edge of your seat or glued to the screen.

There is just so much to like about this movie. The fight between Kong and the T-Rexs is amazing. Pretty much the whole time they spend on the island is something to behold. Kong in New York is equally dazzling. The final scenes on the Empire State Building are astounding - the fight with the war planes; Kong's look as he realizes the fate that awaits him - it's all quite an accomplishment by Mr. Jackson.

I'm not going to sit here and say King Kong is a masterpiece. Sure, it has its problems. Some of the dialogue was cheesy. I wasn't crazy about Jack Black in his role as Denham but he wasn't as bad as I thought he would be (although his eyes really bothered me for some reason). I still think the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park were far better than Jackson's dinos. What happened to the island's natives? Also, I'm really interested to see how they managed to ship Kong back to New York on their ship. I'm sure that will show up as a bonus feature on one of the DVDs. And finally, the love that develops between Kong and Ann seemed a bit rushed. Yeah, I can see the ape falling in love with the woman but would she really reciprocate those feelings, especially in less than 24 hours? But with that being said, in many ways, the relationship between Kong and Darrow is, at times, somewhat touching, as wierd as that sounds.

Anyways, enough of that. King Kong is a great movie. I personally enjoyed it from the opening scene to the closing credits. Peter Jackson lifted a huge burden on his much thinner shoulders by tackling one of the great monster movies of all-time and he does not disappoint. Like any movie, Kong will have its naysayers but this film is well worth the price of admission - at least once. Just be prepared to sit your ass down for a thrilling three-hours and enjoy the ride.

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